Ann Schein

1961-2006 Rachmaninoff

Washington Star, January, 1964

“The soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra last night was the exceptionally gifted pianist, Ann Schein…it is quite true that for 18 of her 24 years, she has been a resident of the Nation’s Capital…her early tutelage was done by Mrs. Glenn Dillard Gunn, the wife of the late brilliant music critic of the old Times-Herald here. But…when an artist reaches a certain point, he or she becomes a citizen of the world of music…Ann Schein has plainly reached this point.”

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Paul Hume, Washington Post, January, 1964

“Ann Schein stole the show last night at Constitution Hall…Miss Schein took on the Rhapsody Rachmaninoff wrote on the most famous of the Paganini caprices…in Ann Schein’s playing…there is a combination of ingredients that make her performance totally satisfying. In articulation, it was all but impeccable…in her constant awareness of the beauty of varying her touch, and in the singing tone with which she gave out the famous lyrical episode, the soloist placed herself among the most eloquent of its protagonists.”

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
National Symphony Orchestra, Howard Mitchell, conductor

Klaus Egge, Morgenbladet, Oslo, Norway, November, 1963

“The Variations are superbly composed, and Ann Schein always astonishes one by her dynamic dimensions. She is vigorous in rhythm, brilliantly lucid technically, unusually finely tuned in her tonal coloring. This was a splendid artistic performance. The audience went wild with enthusiasm.”

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Finn Ludt, Morganbladet, Oslo, Norway, Novenber, 1963

“It was a brilliantly lucid performance presented by Ann Schein. She masters this work with utmost superiority and musical intelligence. Her performance aroused enormous enthusiasm.”

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Arne Nordheim, Dagbladet, Oslo, Norway, November 27, 1963

“A pianist of supreme technical standard is necessary in order to breathe life into Rachmaninoff’s world of romantic sentiment. Young Ann Schein has a crystal clear and absolutely precise mastery of the piano and she has the temperament and a dedicated artist’s approach to the music. Ann Schein has stored in her fingers all the varying degrees of tone from lightning fast brilliance to the slow breathing phrases and the sheer melodious beauty of each note. We look forward to hearing this artist again soon.”

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Aspen Daily News, July 1, 2006 – Commentary & Daily Opinion

“Ann Schein’s Performance: Heaven”
“Editor: I hope no one missed Ann Schein playing Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto conducted by Joseph Silverstein with the Aspen Concert Orchestra Thursday night. During the first movement I began to feel a joy and emotion I rarely get from music, and my eyes were beginning to get a little moist. Ann Schein’s performance of this almost impossible piece was sensational, but there was something more – a spiritual presence. As Dr. Martin Luther King said in his last speech, ‘I have been to the mountain top and seen the other side. Surely, this was a glimpse into the kingdom of heaven. When the piece ended after 45 minutes or so (which was entirely too short for me), the audience erupted, in standing applause and cheers. I wasn’t the only one experiencing this extraordinary moment. Thank you Ann Schein for sharing your special gifts with us.”
~ Joe Myers, Aspen

Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 in d minor
Aspen Music Festival

Hugh Fraser, Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario, February 2, 2001

“Rachmaninoff As It Should Be”
“Ann Schein was the soloist for the Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto, and she was astonishing…Technically stunning, she made a fluid river of the music that produced the subtlest shifts of timing and flashing darts of color. The sheer unrelenting drive and urgency of her need to express the music made every bar enthralling.”

Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 in d minor
The Great Romantics Festival

The Jewish Times, September, 1986

“Ann Schein, together with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, excited wild audience acclaim…the applause that broke out after her passionate performance of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto argued that she deserves to be more prominent in the public eye.”

Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 in d minor
Aspen Music Festival, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Jorge Mester, conductor

Courier – Post, Glassboro, New Jersey, June, 1983

“…The Hollybush Festival…brought the New Jersey Symphony…to Glassboro. The orchestra showed off its form in a pair of concerts led by George Manahan. Pianist Ann Schein joined the orchestra for a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto…She is a superb musician capable of surmounting all the technical and interpretative challenges this concerto poses…She appears relaxed and at ease even in the most strenuous passages. Her playing is big and bold, filled with restraint and nobility, but impassioned, too. She commands an immense sound that cuts right through the densely written orchestral part…a thrilling performance that drew the audience to its feet for a long ovation – (it) is a wonderful show-stopper, but it needs a pianist like Schein to make its big effect…She has the powerful fingers to master all the technical tests in this (work) but she also has the range of colors and the sensitivity to make her performance more than a technical (feat). There was thunder in her playing but also tender lyricism…”

Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 in d minor

Bernard Holland, New York Times, October, 1988

“The Hudson Valley Philharmonic under Imre Pallo performed (three concerts) with Ann Schein as the powerful soloist in the 3rd Concerto of Rachmaninoff. (She) played with controlled passion and an absolute technical command.”

Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 in d minor
Poughkeepsie, New York

Robert Sherman, New York Times, November, 1977

“Ann Schein came on stage to play the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto. It was…an auspicious occasion, the pianist giving a brilliant account of this extraordinarily  difficult concerto, summoning forth the massive sonorities…and managing to find expressive meaning even in the most virtuosic passages. Miss Schein was an immediate hit with the audience, which gave her a standing ovation on Saturday night.”

Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 in d minor
Greenwich, Connecticut

The Village Gazette, Old Greenwich, Connecticut, November, 1977

“The two-performance opening of the Philharmonic’s 1977-78 season was held at Dickerman Hollister Auditorium…The pièce d’occasion was the famous Rachmaninoff Concerto no. 3 played by …world acclaimed artist, Ann Schein…What surged through her remarkable production was melodramatic sound, compounded by highly correlated pedal and keyboard work…this commentator will be forgiven for a personal reference, but he is perhaps one of the few in attendance at the concert to have heard a real live concert by Sergei Rachmaninoff in a performance of this Concerto No. 3. It was a great, great experience but not patently superior to that of Ann Schein. From the very beginning of her performance, she deftly drew her audience to an existential tower from which it witnessed a dazzling display of mastership over one of the most technically forbidding compositions in the library of piano concerti. The extended stomping, clapping and shouting at the end of the performance was a rousing tribute to the awesome artistry…of Ann Schein.”

Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 in d minor

Klaus Egge, Arbeiderbladit, Oslo, Norway, March 16, 1961

“Ann Schein, the American pianist, was the soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 in d minor. In spite of her delicate appearance, Miss Schein has at her command a forcefulness and musical tension, together with a galvanizing intensity which enables her to give an extraordinary dynamic to every detail. Mr. Blomstedt has the same powers, and they were together in the sweeping rise and fall of this romantic work…Soloist and conductor gave a performance of remarkable union both formally and dynamically.”

Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 in d minor
Oslo Philharmonic, Herbert Blomstedt, conductor