Remembering Maurizio Pollini

Maurizio Pollini, the acclaimed Italian pianist whose career spanned more than six decades, passed away on March 23 in a clinic in his native Milan. He was 82.

La Scala, the opera house where Pollini frequently performed,  hailed the Grammy-winning pianist as “one of the great musicians of our time and a fundamental reference in the artistic life of the theater for over 50 years.”

Pollini began performing publicly at age 11, and at 18 won the 1960 International Chopin Piano Competition. Reportedly, Arthur Rubinstein, the president of the jury, declared that Pollini “already plays better than any of us.” Tim Page writes that Pollini’s playing “combined intellectual rigor with technical mastery,” and notes that while some listeners found his playing to be overly reserved and “geometric,” for others, he “was simply one of the greatest artists of his time, a musician who offered pristinely clear, clean, linear and proportionate playing, yet found fresh and unexpected beauties in anything he took on.” Los Angeles Times classical music critic, Daniel Cariaga, once wrote that Pollini

walks onto the stage as one entering a church. Such an approach not only tends to remind us of the basic nature of art; it also makes other practitioners in the field seem frivolous.’

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor” (with Karl Bohm and the Vienna Philharmonic in 1977)

Beethoven: Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Op. 109, 110, 111

This 1998 performance of Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas was recorded in Tokyo in 1998:

Chopin: The Complete Nocturnes

Stravinsky: Three Movements from “Petrushka”

I. Danse russe. Allegro giusto:

II. Chez Petrushka:

III. La semaine grasse. Con Moto – Allegretto – Tempo giusto – Agitato:


Featured Image: photograph by Gamma-Rapho

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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