Arts & Culture

Pianist Ann Schein: Filling The Skies With The Music Of Liszt

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(courtesy of Ann Schein)

(courtesy of Ann Schein)

By Joanne Greco Rochman

“Pianists have been ecstatic since October,” said world renowned concert pianist Ann Schein referring to the ongoing 200th birthday celebration of Franz Liszt. “This is bliss,” she stressed her voice confirming her heart felt belief that playing Liszt is pure joy. “Pianists everywhere have been celebrating Liszt, filling the skies and all the earth with his rich repertoire. I had chills playing his work on his birthday, October 22.”

Schein has performed piano with many famous conductors such as the esteemed George Szell and James Levine as well as having performed with major orchestras including the London Philharmonic and the Washington National Symphony.  Now, she will be appearing in concert for the Newtown Friends of Music in Newtown, CT on March 11. As if playing Liszt is not enough to excite the most devoted piano aficionado, Ann Schein will also perform selected works of Beethoven, Ravel, Debussy, and Chopin.

While there’s little doubt that Schein thoroughly enjoys playing all the works she has personally selected, she takes special pleasure in playing Beethoven’s favorite and most personal work. It is “Les Adieux,” which he dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph. Schein calls it an “unprecedented” work. The pianist explains that Beethoven was so fond of the Archduke that when Rudolph left Vienna, Beethoven not only dedicated a work to him, but above the first three notes of the piece, he wore a farewell.  The three movements include: The Farewell, The Absence, and The Return.

Ann Schein started recording at the age of 18 and was quickly identified as “one of the premier Chopin pianists of our time.” Through her substantial career, she earned kudos from the most prominent reviewers and was touted as “creating music so powerful you cannot tear yourself away,” by the Washington Post. She has played Carnegie Hall, The White House, and in 1981 she performed six concerts in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall to sold-out houses.

Coming from a family of musicians, Schein said that she thanks her parents every day for giving her the experience of the piano. She never tires of playing these beautiful classics.  “Not only do I not mind playing these pieces over and over again, but they are so great that the music keeps giving,” she said adding that it gives to the audience and to her as well. What separates this legendary artist from others is that she is a purist. “As a re-interpreter, I want to recreate the music to the audience as close as possible as it was written. That is my joy and with every concert there is possibility.”

Putting the classic music she so loves and excels at in perspective, she said, ““The world is always changing, but music is a constant.” The Westport based pianist plays at Newtown’s Edmond Town Hall on March 11.

Newtown Friends of Music
Edmund Town Hall
45 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470
(203) 426-6470

Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of “The Fairfield County Review,” a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in “The New York Times,” “The Republican-American” and Hersam-Acorn Publications. She can be reached at: jgrochman@gmail.com

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