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Maurizio Pollini (b1942)

Maurizio Pollini’s parents were both artistically inclined. His mother was a singer, whilst his father Gino Pollini not only played the violin, but was in the forefront of contemporary architectural design in Italy. Pollini’s early studies were with Carlo Lonati and then with Carlo Vidusso at the Milan Conservatory from the age of thirteen. At fourteen, Pollini played the complete Chopin études in public, and when he was fifteen he won second prize at the Geneva International Piano Competition in a year where no first prize was awarded. Two years later he won the Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition and in 1960 won the prestigious International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. However, at eighteen years old he was not fully equipped to take on a huge workload of concerts, nor did he want to become known only as a Chopin player. A planned tour of America was cancelled, and his advertised London debut was twice postponed. It is not true however, as some sources state, that Pollini practically retired from public life for almost seven years, reappearing in 1968; in fact he made his London debut in April 1963 (when he did not receive good reviews for his rushed performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Colin Davis). The critic of The Times noted that ‘…his only concern seemed to be getting the notes over and done with as soon as possible.’




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