17 January 2017
The first of two Royal Festival Hall recitals to celebrate his 75th birthday
The first of two Royal Festival Hall recitals by Maurizio Pollini to celebrate his 75th birthday
The great Italian pianist presents a first half of Chopin favourites, some of the most wonderful music ever written for the piano, featuring a wealth of beautiful melodies and breathtaking virtuosity.
In the second half he returns to Debussy with Book 2 of the Préludes. These descriptive miniatures conjure up a magical soundworld where mists, fireworks and moonlit terraces are all suggested by the composer’s atmospheric writing.
Chopin: 2 Nocturnes, Op.27
Chopin: Ballade No.3 in A flat, Op.47
Chopin: Ballade No.4 in F minor, Op.52
Chopin: Berceuse in D flat, Op.57
Chopin: Scherzo No.1 in B minor, Op.20
Debussy: Préludes, Book 2
Since winning First Prize at the 1960 Chopin Competition, Maurizio Pollini has established an international career of the highest importance, performing in the world’s major concert halls and working with distinguished orchestras and conductors including Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan and Riccardo Muti. In 1987 he was awarded the Wiener Philharmoniker Ehrenring - the orchestra’s highest honour – after performing Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with them in New York. He was also awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 1966, the ‘A Life for Music – Artur Rubinstein’ Prize in 1999 and the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize in 2000.
In summer 2004 Pollini was the ‘Artiste Étoile’ at the Lucerne Festival, performing a recital and concerts with the orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez. In 2010 he performed the Chopin Birthday recital on the composer’s birthday in London’s International Piano Series as part of the Chopin 200 celebrations.
He went on to present The Pollini Project – a series of five recitals charting the development of piano music from Bach to Boulez, for which he won the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award.
In 2007 Pollini won a Grammy Award as Best Instrumental Soloist and a Disco d’Oro; he is also recipient of an ECHO Award in Germany, and Choc de la Musique, Victoires de la Musique and Diapason d’Or de l’Année prizes in France. Most recently he won the ECHO Klassik Award in the Best Concerto category for his recording of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 with Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden. His latest project for Deutsche Grammophon is the completion of his recording of all of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas.
Pollini gives his second recital on 14 March.
The International Piano Series continues with a recital by Boris Berezovsky at Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday 28 February 2017.