Italian Grammy-winning piano giant Maurizio Pollini has died at the age of 82.

The announcement of his death was made by La Scala a theatre Pollini performed at regularly. There is no specific cause of death, but in 2022 Pollini was forced to cancel concerts at the Salzburg Festival due to heart problems.

For more than 60 years, Pollini performed the standard piano literature. He performed Beethoven Brahms, Chopin and Schubert with incomparable poise and a technique that was flawless. He also was a great champion of such composers as Schoenberg, Webern, Boulez and Stravinsky.

Pollini shot to fame in 1960 when he won the sixth international Chopin Piano competition. Rather than going headlong into a solo career performing with orchestras, he limited his concertizing in order practice and broaden his repertoire. He also studied with the renowned pianist Arturo, Benedetti Michelangeli.

Known for his technical mastery at the keyboard, Pollini was unequaled as a sheer technician. He used his technique to effectively communicate with audiences and get them to think about the music in a way that was direct and steadfast.

Pollini’s objective on stage was to play what the composer asked of the performer. Everything was on the page. It was the performer’s job to play with perfection and exact attention to musical details. If this was done the music would speak for itself.

Pollini was had a reputation of being aloof. He rarely gave interviews, and kept a close circle of friends; the Conductor Claudio Abbado being one of them. Perhaps the famed composer and conductor Pierre Boulez hit in on the head when describing Pollini. “He does not say very much, but he thinks quite a lot.”

Pollini’s humanity, thought and creative energy will be sadly missed…

Five key Pollini Recordings: