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Maurizio Pollini: Bio

Maurizio Pollini was born in Milan on 5 January 1942. His father was the famous architect Gino Pollini, one of the leading representatives of Italian rationalism and also an expert violinist. His mother, Renata Melotti, studied piano and singing and was the sister of the well-known sculptor Fausto Melotti, who had a lasting influence on the young Pollini. In 1948 Maurizio Pollini received his first piano lessons from Carlo Lonati. From 1955 until 1959 he continued his studies with Carlo Vidusso and in 1958 he began to study composition with Bruno Bettinelli. In 1960 he was awarded first prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw and appeared at La Scala playing Chopin's First Piano Concerto under Celibidache. Since then Pollini has become one of the most admired and respected pianists of our time and has appeared all over the world with leading orchestras and conductors. He is particularly renowned for his innovative concert programmes which champion works by contemporary composers and contrasts these with those of the Classical and Romantic eras. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist for four decades, his recordings have won innumerable awards, includingGramophone and Echo Awards, Diapason d'or, Record Academy Prize, Tokyo, and Stella d'oro as well as twoGrammys®.


Debuts in London and Berlin


Debut in the USA. Increasingly performs music of the 20th century


First appearance with the Berliner Philharmoniker


First recordings for Deutsche Grammophon: Stravinsky's Three Movements from "Petrushka" and Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata


Salzburg Festival debut; release of Chopin Etudes


First tour of Japan. Appearances with Herbert von Karajan


Recitals featuring the three last sonatas of Schubert; release of Schoenberg's Complete Piano Works


Debut as conductor with the Orchestra of La Scala; release of Chopin Preludes


Premiere of Nono's . . . sofferte onde serene . . . and Manzoni's Masse: omaggio a Edgard Varèse, both composed for him; release of Late Beethoven Sonatas; Mozart Concertos nos. 19 and 23 with Karl Böhm and the Wiener Philharmoniker


Release of Bartók's Concertos nos. 1 and 2 with Claudio Abbado and the Chicago Symphony


Appearances with Mstislav Rostropovich (Beethoven: Cello Sonatas). Release of the Brahms Piano Quintet with the Quartetto Italiano


Plays the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos in New York with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Abbado and receives the orchestra's Honorary Ring. Release of Chopin Piano Sonatas nos. 2 and 3


Recording of Schumann and Schoenberg Concertos with Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Release of Liszt recital disc


Plays his first complete Beethoven Sonata cycles in Berlin and Munich, later also in New York, at La Scala and in Paris, London and Vienna


Takes part in the Boulez Festival in Tokyo. At the Salzburg Festival directs the Progetto Pollini for the first time, a series of concerts in which old and new works are juxtaposed. New recording of the Beethoven Piano Concertos


Receives the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize


Second Progetto Pollini in Salzburg. Release of Chopin Ballades


Organizes the concert series Perspectives analogous to Progetto, at New York's Carnegie Hall


Takes over programme planning of the concert series Kontrapunkte at the Salzburg Easter Festival; release of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations


Release of 13-CD Maurizio Pollini Edition to celebrate his 60th birthday. Progetto Pollini in Tokyo


Progetto Pollini takes place in Rome. Release: Beethoven Sonatas, including his first recording of the "Appassionata"


"Artiste Etoile" at the Lucerne Festival. Release of Beethoven Sonatas op. 10 nos. 1-3 and op. 13 "Pathétique"


Progetto Pollini at the Salzburg Festival. On CD: works by Schumann and Chopin's Nocturnes; on DVD: Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms concertos with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Böhm and Abbado


Chamber music appearances in Vienna with the Alban Berg Quartet, Hagen Quartett and Ensemble Wien-Berlin. Release of his recording of Mozart's Concertos K. 453 & 467 as soloist and conductor of the Wiener Philharmoniker


Soloist and conductor in Mozart concertos with the Galician Symphony Orchestra in Spain and the Wiener Philharmoniker in Vienna's Musikverein; Beethoven concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall under Masur and Jurowski, and with the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig under Chailly. Various recitals in Europe and the US. Release: Beethoven's Piano Sonatas op. 2 nos. 1-3


Brahms's Concertos nos. 1 & 2 with the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome; Beethoven's Concerto no. 4 with Abbado in the Berlin Philharmonie and Vienna's Musikverein; Schumann's Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and James Levine in Boston and New York. Solo recitals throughout Europe, in Moscow, St. Petersburg and the US; chamber-music recital with the Hagen Quartett in Rome; a Schoenberg-Berg-Nono chamber concert in Brussels. Festival appearances at the Klavier Festival Ruhr, the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals. Releases: Live recording of Mozart's Concertos K. 414 & 491 with Pollini as soloist and conductor of the Wiener Philharmoniker and a Chopin recital


Concerto appearances include the Berlin Staatskapelle (Barenboim), Gewandhaus Leipzig (Chailly) and the Filarmonica della Scala (Boulez); concerts with Klangforum Wien (Eötvös) in Paris, Cologne and Milan and with the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Boulez) in Paris and Milan; recitals in Vienna, Cologne, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Italy, China and Japan and at festivals including Salzburg, Lucerne, Tempo Reale (in Paris) and Bonn's Beethovenfest. Released this year: Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier I


This years plans include performances of Brahms's Concerto no. 1 with the Munich Philharmonic (Thielemann), London Symphony Orchestra (Eötvös) and NDR (Dohnányi); Schumann's Piano Concerto with the Concertgebouw (Jansons) and Santa Cecilia (Pappano). Numerous recitals throughout Europe and the US; festival appearances in Salzburg and Lucerne

1 Debussy Preludes, Brouillards: Modere  
2 Debussy Preludes, Feuilles mortes: Lent et melancolique  
3 Debussy Preludes, La Puerta del Vino: Mouvement de Habanera  
4 Debussy Preludes, Les Fees sont d'exquises danseuses: Rapide et leger  
5 Debussy Preludes, Bruyeres: Calme  
6 Debussy Preludes, General Lavine - excentrique  
7 Debussy Preludes, La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune: Lent  
8 Debussy Preludes, Ondine: Scherzando  
9 Debussy Preludes, Hommage a S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C.: Grave  
10 Debussy Preludes, Canope: Tres calme et doucement triste  
11 Debussy Preludes, Les tierces alternees: Moderement anime  
12 Debussy Preludes, Feux d'artifice : Moderement anime  
13 En blanc et Noir, L.134 - for 2 pianos, Avec emportement  
14 Lent-Sombre  
15 Scherzando  
Claudio Abbado, Maurizio Pollini and Anna Prohaska in conversation (2011)

Released for the Debussy centenary in 2018, Maestro Pollini's new album features the second book of Debussy Préludes – recorded 18 years after his hallmark recording of the first book – as well as En blanc et noir, performed with his son and burgeoning pianist and conductor, Daniele Pollini.