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When you see Maurizio Pollini perform, you’re not paying for the stage show. The famously reserved style of the Grammy-winning concert pianist wins him as much criticism as praise. Words like “electrifying” and “dynamic” don’t show up much in his concert reviews, though “aloof,” “distant,” and “cold” often do. A Times of London reviewer once remarked: “There are morticians who go about their duties more chirpily than Pollini.” Then again, not everyone wants their “Moonlight” sonatas infused with chirpiness. What Pollini delivers instead is technical perfection. With his ability to play 60-page scores from memory, Pollini demonstrates a scary level of genius that Americans associate with Rain Man, Bobby Fischer, and antisocial personality disorder. Pollini is Italian, though, and his genius is the benign type that goes with wearing nicely tailored suits and dating models. Tonight’s program includes works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin. MAURIZIO POLLINI PERFORMS AT 8 P.M. AT THE MUSIC CENTER AT STRATHMORE, 5301 TUCKERMAN LANE, NORTH BETHESDA. $29–$79. (301) 581-5100.