The famous Italian pianist and conductor, Maurizio Pollini, was born in Milan. His father was the architect Gino Pollini, one of the leading representatives of Italian rationalism and also an expert violinist. His mother, Renata Melotti, studied piano and singing and was the sister of the well-known sculptor Fausto Melotti, who had a lasting influence on the young Pollini. Maurizio Pollini, a precocious child, received his first piano lessons in 1948 from Carlo Lonati. He made his debut at 9. From 1955 to 1959 he continued his studies with Carlo Vidusso at the Milan Conservatory and in 1958 he began to study composition with Bruno Bettinelli. After sharing 2nd prize at the Geneva Competition in 1958, he took his diploma in piano at the Milan Conservatory in 1959. He also studied with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. In 1960 he was awarded the first prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw and appeared at La Scala, Milan, playing Chopin’s First Piano Concerto under Sergiu Celibidache.