Maurizio Pollini was born in Milan in 1942. He studied piano and composition with Carlo Lonati, and conducting at the Milan Conservatory. Between 1955 and 1959 he was taught by Carlo Vidusso. In 1958 he started his composition studies with Bruno Bettinelli; in 1960 he won the First Prize of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw and played Chopin’s first piano concerto at his debut performance at La Scala Milan under Sergiu Celibidache.
From that moment, Maurizio Pollini has been regarded as one of the most accomplished pianists of our time. Since the mid-sixties he has given piano recitals, performed chamber music and has worked with all major orchestras of the world. In 1971 he signed a contract with Deutsche Grammophon; in 1973 he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival.
In 1995, Pollini was for the first time responsible for a “Progetto Pollini” at the Salzburg Festival – a concert series combining contemporary and older works. In general, Maurizio Pollini is a promoter of contemporary classical music as well as that of the avant-garde. At the Salzburg Festival 1999 he premiered pieces by Manzoni, Donatoni, Guarnieri and Berio that he himself had commissioned. He also worked as a conductor, for example at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. Pollini is renowned for his special concert programmes, juxtaposing contemporary works with those of the classical and romantic periods. On the occasion of Schönberg’s 100th birthday, Pollini performed his integral works for piano in several cities worldwide.
In the course of his career, Maurizio Pollini has been awarded the most prestigious prizes for many of his recordings. He has been recipient of the Edison Prize, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Record Academy Prize, the Prize Stella d’oro and the CD Compact Award; the Federal State of Salzburg awarded him its Gold Medal and he received the Vienna Philharmonic’s ring of honour as well as the Ernst-von-Siemens Musikpreis.