Maurizio Pollini is regarded by many in the world of classical music as a living legend. He is especially noted for his performances of classical and romantic composers such as Chopin, but he also fulfills his artistic responsibility by championing modern composers. "Unlike architecture and painting, modern music is not a part of life for ordinary people. We need to get more youngsters to take interest in modern music." So he continues to feature 20th century composers such as Pierre Boulez and Luigi Nono in his repertoire. Born in 1942 in Milan, he started to study piano when he was 5. In 1960, when he was 18, he entered the International Frédérick Chopin Piano Contest and won the first prize by unanimous decision. Following this success he returned to his studies until 1968 when he returned to the stage, creating a sensation with his exceptional technique and analytical ability. Since then, he remains regarded as one of the finest musicians in the world. Recently, he has attracted much attention for inaugurating his own 'Pollini Project' a series of concerts in which old and new works are juxtaposed.
The name of Maurizio Pollini evokes an extremely important career, story of a man and an artist known all over the world, prized by audiences and critics of every latitude and several generations. Protagonist since more than 40 years in all the major European, American and Japanese concert halls and festivals, Maurizio Pollini has performed with the most celebrated conductors an orchestras.
He has been awarded many international prizes: the Vienna Philharmonic Ehrenring in 1987, the Goldenes Ehrenzeichen of the Town Salzburg in 1995, the Ernst−von−Siemens Music Prize in Munich in 1996, the "A Life for Music − Artur Rubinstein" Prize in Venice in 1999 and the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize in Milan in 2000.
In 1995 Maurizio Pollini opened the Festival that Tokyo dedicated to Pierre Boulez. In the same year and in 1999 the Salzburg Festival invited him to devise and present an own cycle of concerts, which included in the programmes works of different epochs and styles. Later in the years, between 1999 and 2006, with the same philosophy Maurizio Pollini realized new cycles performed in New York at the Carnegie Hall (in 1999/2000 and 2000/01), in Paris for la Cité de la Musique and in Tokyo (both in 2002), in Rome at the Parco della Musica (2003) and Vienna with programmes including both chamber and orchestral performances and mirroring his wide musical tastes from Gesualdo and Monteverdi to the present. In the summer 2004 he has been the "Artist Etoile" at the International Festival Lucerne, performing a recital and concerts with orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado
and Pierre Boulez
New cycles have been devised in 2008 in Roma Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Paris Cité de la Musique and Milano Teatro alla Scala in 2009
Maurizio Pollini's repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary composers (including première performances of Manzoni, Nono and Sciarrino) and includes the complete Beethoven Sonatas
, which he has performed in Berlin, Munich, Milan, New York, London, Vienna and Paris.
He has recorded works from the classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire to worldwide critical acclaims. His recordings of the complete works for piano by Schoenberg, and of works by Berg, Webern, Manzoni, Nono, Boulez and Stockhausen are a testament to his great passion for music of the 20th century.
Also Pollini's recent recording of Chopin Nocturnes
was received with the greatest enthusiasm by audience and critics alike: in 2007 he was awarded a Grammy for the best Instrumental Soloist Performance and the Disco d'Oro, in 2006 an Echo Award (Germany), Choc de la Musique, Victoires de la Musique and Diapason d'Or de l'Année (France). A CD with the Mozart piano Concertos n.12 KV414
and n.24 KV491
with the Vienna Philharmonic was released in April 2008 followed by the second CD with Concertos n.17 KV453
and n.21 KV467
and by a new recording dedicated to Chopin in October 2008.