Legendary pianist Ann Schein to perform Jan. 26 for UAB Piano Series

Schein, dubbed “one of the premier Chopin pianists of our time,” will perform an all-Chopin program for her UAB Piano Series performance.

Ann ScheinAnn ScheinPianist Ann Schein will perform an all-Chopin program Sunday, Jan. 26, for the UAB Piano Series at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

About Schein, The Washington Post has written, “Thank heaven for Ann Schein … what a relief it is to hear a pianist who, with no muss or fuss, simply reaches right into the heart of whatever she is playing — and creates music so powerful you cannot tear yourself away.”

The UAB Piano Series, presented by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music, brings the world’s finest pianists to Birmingham. Distinguished Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence Yakov Kasman, DMA, a Van Cliburn medalist, directs the series.

The concert is set for 4 p.m. in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15, $5 for students through grade 12 and UAB employees; free to UAB students. For tickets, call the ASC Box Office at 205-975-2787 or visit AlysStephens.org.

From her first recordings with Kapp Records, and her highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital debut as an artist on the Sol Hurok roster, Schein’s amazing career has earned her praise in major American and European cities and in more than 50 countries around the world, according to her biography. Since her debut in Mexico City in 1957 when she performed both the Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto and the Tchaikovsky B-flat Concerto, she has performed thousands of concerts on every continent.

For her UAB performance, Schein will perform Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 55, No. 2; Polonaise - Fantaisie, op. 61; Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52; Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35; and 24 Preludes, Op. 28.

Schein “extended the legacy of her teachers, Mieczyslaw Munz, Arthur Rubinstein and Dame Myra Hess,” according to her artist’s statement, by performing six concerts of the major Chopin repertoire in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall throughout an entire season in 1980-81 to outstanding reviews and sold-out houses, the first Chopin cycle presented in New York in 35 years.

Schein has received many distinguished honors for her Chopin performances, beginning with her first recordings in 1958. In a special survey of outstanding Chopin recorded performances during the bicentennial of Chopin’s birth in 2010, titled “A Century of Romantic Music,” Gregor Benko and Ward Marston cited her performances of Chopin, stating, “Ann Schein was trained in her native United States, where she studied with both Mieczyslaw Munz and Arthur Rubinstein. Her first recordings, made when she was 18 and 19, established her as one of the premier Chopin pianists of our time.”

Schein has performed with conductors including George Szell, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, James dePreist, David Zinman, Stanislaw Skrowacewski and Sir Colin Davis, and with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the Washington National Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Her recent recordings include an album of all-Schumann for Ivory Classics and an all-Chopin recording of the Opus 28 Preludes and the B minor Sonata, Opus 58 for MSR Classics. An American album, also for MSR Classics, includes the 1945-46 Elliott Carter Piano Sonata and the Piano Variations of Aaron Copland. An upcoming MSR release will include works of Chopin, Debussy and Ravel.

Schein was on the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory from 1980-2001 and in 2012, they honored her with a Distinguished Alumni Award. From 1984 to 2016, she was an artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School, appearing in more than 90 performances of solo, chamber works and concertos, teaching many hundreds of students. In 2015, she was asked to be a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music. In 2017, she was invited to join the piano faculty of the Mannes School.

In November 2018, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement in the Performing Arts by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. In December 2019, she was honored for her 80th birthday at Peabody Conservatory performing the Chopin F minor Concerto with Edward Polochick, conductor. In March 2020, she will celebrate 40 years since her 1980 Chopin Series in Alice Tully Hall and her 80th birthday with an all-Chopin recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in the Key Pianists Series. In June 2020, she has been invited to perform the Fourth Beethoven Concerto on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Hoff-Barthelson School of Music in Scarsdale, New York.