Just in: Maurizio Pollini suffers acute heart problem at Salzburg

Just in: Maurizio Pollini suffers acute heart problem at Salzburg


norman lebrecht

August 21, 2022

The Italian pianist, who is 80, failed to turn up for this morning’s Beethoven recital at the Salzburg Festival.

Director Markus Hinterhäuser told a packed auditorium that Pollini was unable to perform due to ‘acute heart problems’.

He was taken to hospital.

After the recital he was due to receive an honorary pin from the festival, where he has performed for half a century.





  • 88 says:

    Best wishes to him! He’s certainly earned and deserves some rest and recuperation.

  • Pedro says:

    I was there and hope he will get better soon. The concert was to be recorded, also on video by Unitel and NHK.

  • RB says:

    Oh, dear……may this pianistic Wonder fully recover!!! And quickly.

  • Paul Johnson says:

    A legend of the keyboard. I send him my very best wishes.

  • Rachelle Goldberg says:

    I hope that he gets better soon. I was priviledged to hear him in Salzburg at a rehearsal in August 76/ or 77 with the Vienna Philharmonic and Claudio Abbado rehearsing Brahms 1st Piano Concerto

  • wee.3815 says:

    For me the greatest of pianists and musicians-my hero. May he recover fully and quickly so he care share his immense talent and passion with us for many more years.

  • TNVol says:

    Sending up prayers.

  • Kenny says:

    I love him dearly, but he’s been dying before our eyes for more than a decade. (Don’t want to see him keel over, personally.)

    Brendel found a good off-ramp….

    • Herr Doktor says:

      I agree, sadly. Pollini in his prime was marvelous, but the last two times I heard him live, he was playing far below his peak. I sadly concluded he was doing himself a disservice by putting this diminished version of himself before the public. I won’t see him again even if he comes back to Boston.

      Still, he’s had a great career and I cherish a number of his recordings.

  • Kbrod says:

    I remember going to Carnegie Hall in the 70s as a young boy with my oldest brother when the Hall was only half full and we got front row seats for around $7 because he wasn’t known well in the US. He was magnificent. I finally understood Beethoven’s op.111. He also played the complete Chopin’s op 25. He made a very small mistake in the first etude which is the easiest and I was playing at the time probably due to nerves but then the rest was flawless. Number 6 in thirds was like running pearls. I had all his records at the time which included the etudes and his Stravinsky/Prokofiev album. Which I had him sign in the green room. It was funny as it was a long playing Lp but looked like a 78 because only half was filled on either side. Of course it was monumental. It didn’t take long for the Hall to be become standing room only. He is and always will be legendary. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    • Pedro says:

      I remember a concert in the then Avery Fischer Hall consisting of the Diabelli variations, Webern variations and Stockausen Klavierstücke X. Amazing programme and exceptional playing but many people left after the Beethoven. That was in 1983.

      • Jan Kaznowski says:

        It’s a shame he never recorded the Stockhausen pieces which he regularly performed

      • Tom M. says:

        I was also at that concert. I‘ve never been thrilled by the “Diabelli” Variations, but the Stockhausen was electrifying.

    • Joel Kemelhor says:

      That Stravinsky/Prokofiev (DG) is also a favorite of mine. Certainly the Chopin 1st concerto he recorded at age 20 (EMI, with Kletzki) remains notable. It was played here in Washington just last week, on WETA radio.

    • Del Boy says:

      I remember hearing him in London at the Festival Hall once, and he deliberately put themodern music before the Beethoven. When people started becoming restless or leaving, he turned and addressed the crown – holding the side of the score and wobbling it on the music stand and said “you are very rude” and some people cussed him back.

      I gave up going to see him shortly afterwards because he was just slowly fading and I always want to hang onto those amazing discoveries of his 1970’s DG records – which were my vehicle into the Beet Piano Sonatas.

    • Joe P says:

      Oh I remember that – he hit a G instead of an F right before the coda…

  • henry williams says:

    he signed my programme many years ago. very nice person

  • Ragnar Danneskjoeld says:

    I hope he gets well soon. I was there too and I think they could have handled the situation better. They could have announced the news on social media to avoid making 2000 people come to the venue.

  • Nick Kalogeresis says:

    Best wishes to a great lion of the keyboard.

  • Philip B Hawthorne says:

    I just watched him play Brahms first concerto last night on YouTube. It made me cry. May God keep you this night Signore Pollini.

  • wee.3815 says:

    My hero, a musician whose art has changed my life. Every wish for his fast and complete recovery.

  • Jennifer Bell says:

    He is an amazing pianist and I send him all the very best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

  • Paul Sekhri says:

    May he recover quickly and fully!

  • Filharmonika says:

    My first Chopin Competition and fascinating performances !
    We were students at the Music Lycee, sitting the Warsaw Philharmonic floor ,and listening to Him!Get well soon Maestro!

  • Walter says:

    Best wishes to Maestro Pollini for a speedy recovery. He was supposed to play at Carnegie Hall on 10/16, but I’m afraid that probably won’t happen.