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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Maurizio Pollini, Piano

Sunday, April 29, 2018 2 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Maurizio Pollini by Jennifer Taylor
Expectations soar and the excitement reaches fever pitch every time Maurizio Pollini steps on to the Carnegie Hall stage. It’s not surprising, since he has been a pianist par excellence for decades. Whether he is celebrating the poetry, melodic beauty, and drama of Chopin, or exploring the nuances and color of Debussy’s Preludes, Pollini is truly the “dean of living pianists” (The Boston Globe).

Part of: Keyboard Virtuosos I


Maurizio Pollini, Piano


CHOPIN Prelude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 45
CHOPIN Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60
CHOPIN Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor
DEBUSSY Préludes, Book II

CHOPIN Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39
CHOPIN Berceuse in D-flat Major, Op. 57
CHOPIN Etude in A Minor, Op. 25, No. 11, "Winter Wind"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN  Prelude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 45; Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60; Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 35

Chopin revolutionized keyboard writing in dozens of solo piano pieces that imbued the brilliance of the salon style with unprecedented poetic depth. The three works on this afternoon’s program illustrate the expanded expressive range of his late works. The Sonata in B-flat Minor is built around the famous funeral march that serves as its slow movement. From the volatile first movement to the brief, etude-like finale, the music enacts a struggle between discordant and ultimately irreconcilable forces. Even Schumann, one of Chopin’s earliest and most loyal supporters, found the sonata’s enigmatic message hard to fathom.



Debussy and the revolutionary style of piano writing associated with “Debussyism” were well established in the public mind by the time his two sets of preludes appeared between 1910 and 1913. The 12 preludes of Book II are so texturally luxuriant that Debussy notated most of the music on three staves. The pieces illustrate the full range of his pianism, from the misty, opalescent textures of “Brouillards” and “La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune” to the sultry exoticism of “La puerta del vino” and the kaleidoscopic brilliance of “Feux d’artifice.”


Maurizio Pollini

The name of Maurizio Pollini evokes the story of an internationally renowned artist, prized by critics and audiences across several generations and in every corner of the globe.

For more than 40 years, Mr. Pollini has performed with celebrated conductors and orchestras at all the major European, American, and Japanese concert halls and festivals. He has been awarded many of classical music’s highest honors, including the Vienna Philharmonic Ehrenring, Salzburg’s Goldenes Ehrenzeichen, Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, A Life for Music–Artur Rubinstein Prize, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize, Tokyo’s Praemium Imperiale, Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and Università Complutense of Madrid’s Laurea Honoris Causa.

In 1995, Mr. Pollini opened Tokyo’s Pierre Boulez Music Festival with Boulez in attendance. That same year, the Salzburg Festival in Austria invited Mr. Pollini to present his own cycle of concerts, for which he devised a program of works drawing from different epochs and styles; in 1999, he was invited back to create another concert program. From 1999 through 2006, Mr. Pollini performed new concert cycles in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Switzerland, Milan, Berlin, and Vienna, with programs that mirrored his wide musical tastes, including both chamber and orchestral performances, from Gesualdo and Monteverdi to contemporary composers.

Mr. Pollini’s repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary composers (including premiere performances of works by Nono, Giacomo Manzoni, and Salvatore Sciarrino) and includes the complete Beethoven sonatas, which he has performed in Berlin, Munich, Milan, New York, London, Vienna, and Paris. Mr. Pollini has recorded works from the Classical, Romantic, and contemporary repertoire to worldwide critical acclaim. 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. His album of Chopin nocturnes earned him many honors, including the ECHO Klassik Award, Choc de la Musique, Victoires de la Musique, Diapason d’Or de l’Année, Grammy Award, and Disco d’Oro.

In recognition of his 75th birthday, Deutsche Grammophon released Pollini’s complete recordings, comprising more than 55 CDs and three bonus DVDs. Included in the collection are his early interpretations of works by Boulez, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and others, as well as his complete cycle of the Beethoven sonatas and 2017 ECHO Klassik Award–winning album celebrating Chopin’s late works.

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