Maurizio Pollini was born in Milan on 5 January 1942. His father was the 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 the first prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw and appeared at La Scala, Milan, playing Chopin’s First Piano Concerto under Sergiu Celibidache. Since then Maurizio 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.
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 (Gran Premio del disco ‘Ritmo’, Madrid, Prix Mondial du disque, Montreux, Record Academy Prize, Tokyo, Edison Prize).
First tour of Japan. Appearances with Herbert von Karajan.
Recitals featuring the three last sonatas of Schubert; release of Schoenberg’s Complete Piano Works (Gran Premio del disco ‘Ritmo’).
Debut as conductor with the Orchestra of La Scala; release of Chopin Preludes (Grand Prix du disque).
Premiere of Nono’s . . . sofferte onde serene . . . and Manzoni’s Masse: omaggio a Edgard Varèse, both composed for him; release of Late Beethoven Sonatas (Gramo¬phone Award); Mozart Concertos nos. 19 and 23 with Karl Böhm and the Wiener Philharmoniker (Wiener Flötenuhr).
Bartók’s Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 2 with Claudio Abbado and the Chicago Symphony (Gramophone Award).
Appearances with Mstislav Rostropovich (Beethoven: Cello Sonatas). Release of the Brahms Piano Quintet with the Quartetto Italiano (Gramophone Award, Prix Cae¬cilia, Brussels and the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis).
Plays the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos in New York with the Wiener Phil¬harmoniker under Abbado and receives the orchestra’s Honorary Ring on this occasion. Release of Chopin Piano Sonatas nos. 2 and 3 (Edison Prize).
Release of Schubert’s Late Piano Sonatas (Record Academy Prize, Tokyo).
Recording of Schumann and Schoenberg Piano Concertos with Abbado and the Ber¬liner Philharmoniker (Stella d’oro); Liszt recital disc wins Edison Prize, Grand Prix du disque Liszt International, Stella d’oro.
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. Receives the Gold Medallion of Salzburg province. Recording of the Beethoven Piano Concertos wins CD Compact Award, Barcelona.
Receives the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize.
Second Progetto Pollini in Salzburg; Chopin Ballades CD wins Record Academy Prize, Tokyo.
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; CD of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations wins Diapason d’or.
Release of 13-CD Maurizio Pollini Edition to celebrate his 60th birthday and 30-year collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon. Progetto Pollini in Tokyo.
Progetto Pollini takes place in Rome. Recitals and concerts throughout Europe. CD release: Beethoven Sonatas, including his first recording of the “Appassionata”.
“Artiste Etoile” at the Lucerne Festival. Recitals and concerts in Europe, Japan and the USA. Release of Beethoven Sonatas op. 10 nos. 1–3 and op. 13 “Pathétique” (Choc du Monde de la musique).
Concerts and recitals throughout Europe and in Japan; Progetto Pollini at the Salz¬burg Festival. On CD: works by Schumann and Chopin’s Nocturnes (Echo Award 2006, Grammy 2007, Victoires de la Musique Classique Award 2007); on DVD: Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms concertos with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Böhm and Abbado.
Recitals throughout Europe, in the USA, and at the Salzburg and Beijing Festivals. Concerts in Lucerne and Tokyo with Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, in Munich with Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, in Vienna with the Alban Berg Quartet, Hagen Quartett and Ensemble Wien-Berlin. Release of his recording of Mozart’s Piano 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. Recitals at the major European music venues, in the USA (including Carnegie Hall), and at the Salzburg, Venezia-Nono (London), and Lucerne Piano festivals. Release of his critically acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas op. 2, nos. 1 – 3.
Brahms’s Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 2 with the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome; Beethoven’s Concerto no. 4 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Abbado in the Philharmonie and with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra again under Abbado in Vienna’s Musikverein; Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and James Levine in Boston and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Solo recitals throughout Europe, in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the USA (including Carnegie Hall); chamber-music recital with the Hagen Quartett in Rome; a Schoenberg-Berg-Nono chamber concert in Brussels. Festival appearance at the Klavier Festival Ruhr, the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals. Spring sees the release of a live recording of Mozart Piano Concertos K. 414 & 491 with Pollini as soloist and conductor of the Wiener Philharmoniker. A Chopin recital (Sonata no. 2, Mazurkas, Waltzes, Impromptu no. 2, Ballade no. 2) is scheduled for release in the autumn.