This 2009 Marizio Pollini tv interview for RTHK - Hong Kong, sets the scene of a great pianist: in 1960 Pollini won first prize as the youngest participant, age 18, in the International Chopin Piano Competition - Warsaw. Despite this accolade, he doesn't consider himself a specialist on Chopin and is equally acclaimed for his performances of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. Praised for his performances of Chopin and Beethoven because of his fidelity to the text; and absence of sentimentality.
Pollini toured Hong Kong during hte time of the interview with his very own familiar 9' concert grand piano and tuner to be sure that you have the best instrumental conditions for the concert. Generally, Pollini performs about 40 concerts a year.
Pollini on Chopin - has liked Chopin's works since his youth and his repertoire does extend to other composersas well. Because of the outcome of the competition, therefore, he does devote "a lot of his time and love" to the composer's repertoire. He describes Chopin's music as magic and mysterious with an extremely seductive surface. Pollini contends Chopin's works go deeper thatn being a romantic sentimental composer; he is in fact, difficult to understand - and you need to love him otherwise you won't be able to play him perfectly. When he compares his earlier recordings of Chopin, he says he now plays Chopin now more in a free way (perhaps because there's less pressure now as an established artist?).
Champion of Modern music
Audiences prefer more well known pre 20th Century classical composers as modern music is not so well known.. Pollini is an exponent of performing modern music - 20th century music is not well known; a pity to Pollini as it's full of genius.