Pollini, Maurizio , famous Italian pianist and conductor; b. Milan, Jan. 5, 1942. A precocious child, he began piano studies at an early age with Lonati. He made his debut at age 9, then studied with Vidusso at the Milan Cons. After sharing 2nd prize in the Geneva Competition in 1958, he took his diploma in piano at the Milan Cons. (1959); also studied with Michelangeli. After capturing 1st prize in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw (1960), he launched an acclaimed career as a virtuoso; appeared throughout Europe as a soloist with the leading orchs. and as a recitalist; made his U.S. debut at N.Y.’s Carnegie Hall (Nov. 1, 1968). In later years, he made appearances as a conductor, leading concerts from the keyboard and also mounting the podium and taking charge in the opera pit. Pollini is a foremost master of the keyboard; he has won deserved renown for making his phenomenal technical resources a means of exploring a vast repertoire, ranging from Bach to the cosmopolitan avantgarde. In 1987 he was awarded the Ehrenring of the Vienna Phil.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire