Performance Sunday, April 21, 2013 | 3 PM

Maurizio Pollini

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Hailed as “the Italian arch-aristocrat of the piano” by The Independent (London), Maurizio Pollini is one of those rare artists whose stature compels you to see him in performance. His craft is “so accomplished it thrills on its own terms” (The Boston Globe); to witness the “steely brilliance” that is “virtually infallible” (The New York Times), you must hear him play—especially in a venue as special as Carnegie Hall.


  • Maurizio Pollini, Piano


  • CHOPIN Prelude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 45
  • CHOPIN Ballade in F Major, Op. 38
  • CHOPIN Ballade in A-flat Major, Op. 47
  • CHOPIN Four Mazurkas, Op. 33
  • CHOPIN Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39
  • DEBUSSY Préludes, Book I

  • Encores:
  • DEBUSSY "Pour les arpèges composés," No. 5, from Etudes, Book II
  • CHOPIN Etude in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 12, "Revolutionary"
  • CHOPIN Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23


  • Maurizio Pollini

    The name Maurizio Pollini evokes an extremely important career: the story of an artist known all over the world, prized by audiences and critics across many latitudes and several generations. As a performer for more than 40 years in all the major European, American, and Japanese concert halls and festivals, Mr. Pollini has performed with the most celebrated conductors and orchestras.

    He has been awarded many international prizes: Vienna Philharmonic Ehrenring (1987), Goldenes Ehrenzeichen (1995), Ernst von Siemens Music Prize (1996), "A Life for Music-Arthur Rubinstein" Prize (1999), Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize (2000), Praemium Imperiale in Tokyo (2010), and Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award (2012).

    In 1995, Mr. Pollini opened the Pierre Boulez Festival in Tokyo. That same year and in 1999, the Salzburger Festspiele invited him to create and present his own series of concerts, which included works of different epochs and styles. He has since curated series of concerts at Carnegie Hall; Cité de la musique; Auditorium Parco della Musica; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; Teatro alla Scala; the Lucerne Festival; as well as in Tokyo, Berlin, and Vienna. In 2004, Mr. Pollini was the Artist Étoile at the Lucerne Festival, where he performed a recital and concerts with orchestras conducted by Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez.

    Mr. Pollini's repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary composers, including premiere performances of works by Giacomo Manzoni, Luigi Nono, and Salvatore Sciarrino; as well as the complete Beethoven sonatas, which he has performed in Berlin, Munich, Milan, New York, London, Vienna, and Paris.

    Mr. Pollini's recordings of Classical, Romantic, and contemporary repertoire have received critical acclaim worldwide. His recordings of Schoenberg's complete works for piano, as well as works by Berg, Webern, Manzoni, Nono, Boulez, and Stockhausen are a testament to his great passion for music of the 20th century. Mr. Pollini's recent recording of Chopin nocturnes received both a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance and the Disco d'Oro in 2007. In 2006, he was awarded an ECHO Klassik, Choc de la Musique, Victoires de la Musique, and Diapason d'Or. Mr. Pollini has recorded multiple Mozart concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. His recording of Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann was released as both a CD and DVD in 2011.

    Deutsche Grammophon recently released a three-CD box set dedicated to the art of Maurizio Pollini, as well as a new CD in late 2012 that features Chopin preludes and other pieces.

    More Info


Chopin's Prelude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 45
Maurizio Pollini, Piano
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

Maurizio Pollini's program fittingly opens with a prelude, but it also closes with one—in fact, a dozen of them. In both the open and close, the preludes come from composers who epitomized piano music in general, and whose preludes in particular stand as models of the genre: Chopin in the 19th century and Debussy in the early-20th. As E. Robert Schmitz notes, "Chopin gave it the completeness of a single, independent movement, and endowed it with a rich, poetic, and imaginative role ... Debussy added a complexity of materials and a completeness of form, which, without losing its essential characteristic of brevity, brought the prelude to its highest point of development."

In between, we hear examples from three additional genres by Chopin: two ballades, four mazurkas, and a scherzo—all dating from the richly productive five-year period of 1836 to 1841.
Program Notes


Maurizio Pollini on "the Miracle of Chopin"

This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos I.