Ann Schein

1960-2002 Chopin Concertos

Baltimore Sun, May, 1995

“The best thing about the Concert Artists of Baltimore fine concert…was Ann Schein’s performance of Chopin’s e minor Concerto. She has grown quietly into a Chopin interpreter whose spiritual identification with the composer is extraordinary. (Her playing) has a quality that could be called fearlessly intimate…With its combination of power and accuracy with a melting tone, Schein’s performance was that of a remarkable virtuoso.”

Chopin Concerto no. 1 in e minor
Concert Artists of Baltimore, Edward Polochick, conductor

Icelandic Daily Newspaper, November, 2002

“Last night’s concert was sold out and…there could be no doubt that the main attraction for music lovers…were the visiting star performers. Pianist Ann Schein and the conductor Stanislaw Skrowacewski fascinated everyone by their superb performance (of the Chopin f minor Concerto). Ann Schein managed to play the Steinway piano many have considered outdated and in bad condition with such flair that it seemed as if it had just descended from heaven into her hands. She made every note produce exactly the right sound and nuance in accordance with its role in the larger structure – and yet each one maintained an inner life full of energy and intimacy. It has to be considered a major achievement to play Chopin in such a way that the outcome becomes polyphonic, clear and limpid. The melodic phrases were integrated and sang beautifully. The softness of her sound was often miraculous, as in the beginning of the slow movement.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor
Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Stanislaw Skrowacewski, conductor

Morgunbladid, Reykiavik, Iceland, November, 2002

“A Great Musical Feast”

“Ann Schein played the (Chopin) f minor Concerto in a truly wonderful manner. Every line had great clarity and intimacy. She never allowed the technique to become the main source of interest at the expense of the music, and she was capable of producing anything on the instrument. The soloist produced dashing effects in the first movement, and in the slow movement, a miraculous nocturne, the interpretation was especially beautiful…this exquisite love confession was remarkably beautifully played by Ann Schein. The last movement…mazurka had just the right playful and leggiero atmosphere…”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor
Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Stanislaw Skrowacewski, conductor

The Oregonian, 1995

“If the perfect Chopin pianist did exist, he or she would be both elegant and aristocratic and would combine spontaneity with effortless brilliance, Ann Schein comes close. Schein, a New Yorker with a long international career, performed Sunday with the Oregon Symphony…She played Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in f minor, a work that gives pianists plenty of opportunity to show their colors. The three-movement concerto contains extended passages that alternate between glittering effect and soulful expressiveness. Drama drives the piece, but graceful ornamentation makes it sing. Schein is a former pupil of the great Chopin player, Arthur Rubinstein, and it showed. A self-effacing performer, she seemed perfectly at home in the stylized 19th century language of poetic melancholy…Schein excelled in the slow movement. This alone was worth the concert. Her smooth cantabile phrasing, spun as fine a filigree as anyone’s.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor
Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Portland, Oregon, James dePreist, conductor

Morgenbladet, Oslo, Norway, October, 1968

“The American pianist, Ann Schein, brought great authority and virtuosity to Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto. Her technique is masterful and she showed a penetrating understanding of the work’s special character. In the slow movement her playing brought out its lyrical beauty, and her clear and sensitive interpretation
gave her listeners a memorable experience. This movement is indeed a pearl, developed masterfully. Ann Schein has our thanks for her unsentimental and confident reading of this Chopin Concerto. Her luminous playing fits this work perfectly.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor
Oslo Philharmonic, Herbert Blomstedt, conductor

Jacksonville Times-Union, 1964

“The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra last evening…under the baton of John Canarina, with Ann Schein as guest artist, rose to new heights in perhaps the most stunning and dazzling concert of the entire season. Miss Schein is indeed a brilliant young American pianist and the instrument came alive under her fingers. She played the Chopin f minor Concerto with sophisticated, interpretive elegance yet with deep feeling and sensitivity, and one was dazzled by a technique which can only be described in superlatives. The audience was completely captivated and would not let her go, and after four curtain calls, she graciously responded with an encore, a brilliant etude by Moszkowski.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor
Jacksonville Symphony, John Canarina, conductor

The Cleveland Press, October, 1964

“2 Excellent in Music Debuts”
“The young American pianist, Ann Schein, made her Cleveland debut last night in Severance Hall. She played the Second Concerto of Chopin. Her accompaniment was directed by James Levine, Kulas Foundation apprentice conductor, who also was making his debut. Critic’s judgment: Miss Schein plays with a light, smooth touch and admirably deft technique which made her Chopin a delight to hear…Ann Schein…has built a remarkable career and who gives every evidence that she will be a frequent visitor by the reception she received for her performance of the Chopin Concerto.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor

The Plain Dealer, October, 1964

“Two Young Artists Star in Szell Concert”
“From a news point of view, the main event at last night’s Cleveland Orchestra concert in Severance Hall was the collaboration of two young artists – a pianist and conductor both under 25 – in the Chopin f minor Piano Concerto. The new pianist was Ann Schein and on the podium as she played was young James Levine (the name rhymes with design) the orchestra’s new Kulas Foundation apprentice conductor. It almost goes without saying that Miss Schein possesses a formidable keyboard technique, for it would take a very foolhardy pianist indeed to tackle the tricky Chopin Concerto without one…She was most successful – and closest to the Chopin spirit – in the quieter, more romantic approach. There is no reason why this young lady cannot grow into a real keyboard giant one of these days.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor

Minneapolis Star, January, 1964

“Ann Schein’s Performance Has a Delightful Smoothness”

“Of a pianist so young as Ann Schein – she is 24 years old – it is unusual to report that the first recommendation has to do with tone, not muscles. She played Chopin’s Second Concerto Friday night at Northrup with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the most impressive aspect of her work was the sweet, warm sound produced by her tone. There was about it a virgin clarity that was most delightful and that did Chopin nothing but honor. The middle, slow movement was particularly expressive, bringing about one of those spells that take hold when soloist and orchestra reach a fine peak of understanding. After the glittering first movement, this section proved a model cantabile, the piano setting out quiet embroidered melody against a hushed background of sustained and tremolo strings.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Stanislaw Skrowacewski, conductor

Pall Isolfsson, Morgunbladid, October, 1958

“Ann Schein played the Chopin Concerto extremely beautifully, with strong insight and highly refined musical feeling. Awaiting this girl must be a great future in music.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor
Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Hermann Hildebrandt, conductor

Thjodviljinn, October, 1958

“There is no doubt that the third item on the program, the Chopin Concerto No. 2 played by a young girl from the United States with such unique ingenuity will remain longest in the memories of those attending the concert. I guess one must believe that Ann Schein is only 18 years old although she is indisputably a fully mature artist. It is difficult to point out where improvement would be needed. The technique is most perfect, unusually polished and pure. There is both power and subtlety in the interpretation and the scales are like rhythmic dewdrops. In addition, there is an artistic temperament and musical talent that few are endowed with…There is no doubt that the composer would have been pleased with this young interpreter of his music.”

Chopin Concerto No. 2 in f minor
Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Hermann Hildebrandt, conductor