About Ann 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.” From her first recordings with Kapp Records and her highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital debut as an artist on the Sol Hurok roster, Ann Schein’s amazing career has earned her praise in major American and European cities and in more than 50 countries around the world. 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.
She 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. Over her many years performing in London she appeared repeatedly in the Promenade Concerts in Albert Hall, including several Last Nights, when favorite soloists are invited to perform. In 1963 she was invited to perform at the White House during the Kennedy administration. Famed critic Paul Hume wrote in the Washington Post, “She drew the loveliest sound from the White House piano I have heard.”
In the 1980-81 season, Ann Schein extended the legacy of her teachers, Mieczyslaw Munz, Arthur Rubinstein, and Dame Myra Hess, performing six concerts of the major Chopin repertoire in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall throughout an entire season to outstanding reviews and sold-out houses, the first Chopin cycle presented in New York in 35 years.
From 1982 to 1987 she performed with the American Chamber Players and made several tours throughout the U.S. and Brazil with the great soprano Jessye Norman. They recorded Berg and Schoenberg songs for Sony Classical.
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.
In 2022, Ann Schein returned to the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, where she had previously taught from 1980 to 2001. She had come to Peabody at a very young age to study and in 2012, the Conservatory honored her with its Distinguished Alumni Award. From 1984 to 2016 she was an Artist-Faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School appearing in over 90 performances of solo, chamber works, and concertos, teaching many hundreds of students. During 2008-09 she served as a Visiting Faculty member at Indiana University. In 2015-16, 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.
Ann Schein has received many distinguished honors for her Chopin performances, beginning with her first recordings in 1958 for Kapp Records. In a special survey of outstanding Chopin recorded performances during the bicentennial of Chopin’s birth in 2010, entitled “A Century of Romantic Music,” Gregor Benko and Ward Marston cited her performances of Chopin stating in her biography, “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 premiere Chopin pianists of our time.”
A book published in 2014 by the music critic for the Washington Post, author, and musicologist Cecelia Hopkins Porter, entitled, Five Lives in Music: Women Performers, Composers and Impresarios from the Baroque to the Present features Ann Schein as the 20th Century artist.
In 2015 she was invited to give a recital during the National MTNA convention in Las Vegas, receiving as well a video presentation of her long and illustrious career hosted by Sally Coveleskie, National Director, Higher Education Sales of the Steinway Company. She was presented with an inscribed Tiffany gold clock and honored for her more than 50 years as a Steinway artist.
In May 2016, she performed the 3rd Rachmaninoff Concerto with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the most recent of over 100 performances of this revered work throughout her career.
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 2019 she performed and gave master classes in the Matthay Festival at the University of Alabama, the IKIF Festival in New York at Hunter College, and the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
In December 2019, she was honored at the Peabody Conservatory for her 80th birthday performing the Chopin F minor Concerto with Edward Polochick, conductor. In March 2020, she celebrated 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 was 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.
She and her husband, Earl Carlyss, for 21 years 2nd violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet, have performed countless chamber music performances both as a duo and in other works with many distinguished colleagues. They are parents of two daughters, Linnea and Pauline, and have two granddaughters, Olivia and Maggie.
She gives thanks to God for her parents, her family, and her teachers, most of all to her greatest mentor, Mieczyslaw Munz, who trained her, and predicted for her, “a long life in music.”