Since winning First Prize at the 1960 Chopin Competition, Maurizio Pollini has established an international career of the highest importance, performing in the world’s major concert halls and working with distinguished orchestras and conductors including Karl Boehm, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, and Riccardo Muti. In 1987 he was awarded the Wiener Philharmoniker Ehrenring - the orchestra’s highest honour - after performing Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with them in New York. He was also awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 1966, the ‘A Life for Music – Artur Rubinstein’ Prize in 1999 and the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize in 2000.
Pollini devised and performed his own concert series at the Salzburger Festspiele in 1995. The programmes included both chamber and orchestral performances and mirrored his wide musical tastes from Gesualdo and Monteverdi to contemporary music. He subsequently performed similar series at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris’ Cité de la Musique and Rome’s Parco della Musica.
In summer 2004 Pollini was the ‘Artiste Etoile’ at the Lucerne Festival, performing a recital and concerts with orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez. In 2010 Maurizio Pollini performed the Chopin Birthday recital on the anniversary of the composer’s birth in London’s International Piano Series (IPS) as part of the Chopin 200 celebrations.
He went on to present The Pollini Project - a series of five recitals charting the development of piano music from Bach to Boulez, for which he won the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award. 2018 marked the 30th anniversary of the IPS for which Pollini gave the first recital.
Maurizio Pollini’s repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary composers. He has performed the complete Beethoven Sonatas in Berlin, Munich, Milan, New York, London, Vienna and Paris, and has given world premieres of works by Manzoni, Nono and Sciarrino. His recordings of Schoenberg’s complete piano works, and of music by Berg, Webern, Manzoni, Nono, Boulez and Stockhausen, are testament to his great passion for 20th century music and his support for contemporary composers. In 1995 he opened a major festival dedicated to Pierre Boulez in Tokyo, and was responsible for commissioning the expansion of Helmut Lachenmann’s original version of Grido into the 2004 Double for string orchestra.
In 2007 Pollini won a Grammy Award as Best Instrumental Soloist and a Disco d’Oro; he is also recipient of Choc de la Musique, Victoires de la Musique and Diapason d’Or de l’Année prizes in France. Most recently he won the ECHO Klassik Award in the Best Concerto category for his recording of the Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 with Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden. His latest project for Deutsche Grammophon is the completion of his recording of all the Beethoven piano sonatas.
Maurizio Pollini was born in Milan in 1942 and studied with Carlo Lonati and Carlo Vidusso.