RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
The Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini was born in Milan on 5 January 1942, at the age of eighteen becoming the youngest winner of the Warsaw International Chopin Competition. Interrupting his career to study with Michelangeli, he's kept Chopin in his repertory ever since, but, atypically for the 'romantic' virtuoso his public wanted to stereotype, in perspective too, balanced, on the one hand, with the analytically heavy-duty classics (Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms), on the other, the cerebral moderns (Schoenberg, Bartók, Stockhausen, Boulez, Berio, Nono). A richly diverse artist of strong socio-political commitment, as famous for his self-critical perfectionism in the recording studio as his impulsive risk-taking on the concert platform, he remains one of the all-time greats - visionary, controversial, cool, self-inquiring, pianistically phenomenal. AO