Dr. Ann Birman is a classically trained pianist and teacher who has had a far-reaching influence on the music community in Chicagoland. Her students have participated and won numerous prizes in the United States and Europe on national levels, including the National Piano Concerto Competition. Ann’s students have also performed with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Ann performs with chamber groups in the Chicago area.
As a faculty member of the Merit School of Music, she was honored for her prominent achievements as the Alice S. Pfaelzer Piano Chair. Her most talented students have participated in master classes with internationally renowned pianists including Emanuel Ax, Eteri Anjaparidze, Lang Lang, Jorge Federico Osorio, and Andre Watts.
At the grand opening celebration concert for the Merit School’s new building in Chicago, three of her students performed a Smetana Sonata for 2 pianos and 4 hands with Emanuel Ax.
Ann’s students have gone on to attend some of the nation’s top universities, including Yale, Harvard University, Princeton, the University of Chicago, and others. Many have also gone on to pursue musical careers, and most importantly, have become music lovers and more well-rounded people as a result of their passion and love for the Piano.
Dr. Ann Birman has extensive experience as a solo pianist, chamber musician and teacher. Born into a musical family (her mother was a well-known pianist and professor at the Lvov National Conservatory in the former Soviet Union), she studied with her mother from an early age. As a young soloist she was already performing Two Liszt’s piano concertos with Lvov Symphony Orchestra.
Later she completed her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia under the tutelage of Professor Evgeny Lieberman.
Lieberman was a pupil of the legendary pianist and teacher Heinrich Neuhaus, author of the famous “Art of Piano Playing,” who established his own, unique musical-technical approach to piano pedagogy and fostered a movement of musicians. Two of the most significant pianists of 20th century, Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, were Neuhaus’ disciples.