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Sisters We Have Lost

Ann Beckman - Watkins or Miller 1969

By Norman Lebrecht On December 8, 2020
We have been informed that Ann Beckman died on Sunday morning at the age of 69. She held the title of director of studies at Zurich Opera for twenty years and was much in demand elsewhere.  She passed December 6, 2020, from a heart aneurism.  Her body was donated to the medical school in Zurich, as she wished.  
Here’s her most recent CV from Salzburg:
Ann Beckman comes from Kansas / USA, where she completed her studies in piano and conducting. After graduating, she worked as a pianist and musical assistant at the Portland Opera and as a song accompanist at the Berkshire Music Center with Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and John Wustman; then she was hired as a musical assistant at the Lyric Opera in Chicago. In 1978 she was engaged at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein / Düsseldorf, then at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and in 1986 as a director of studies at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. In 1992 she moved to the Zurich Opera House in the same position, where she was the director of studies / pianist and musical assistant to conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Marc Minkowski, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Franz Welser-Möst until 2012.Ariadne on Naxos she also played the solo piano in the orchestra of the Vienna Philharmonic. In addition, she supervised numerous productions at the Théâtre du Châtelet and L’Opéra National de Paris as well as at the Festival de Radio France in Montpellier.

"Ann was my roommate both my freshman and sophomore years at Watkins.  She was brilliant - and had the biggest stereo I had ever seen!!  She introduced me to Opera, insisting I go the the KU performances.  While she would practice piano at Murphy Hall, I would walk over and study in the hallway, outside her practice room.  Lovely!  It's so funny to remember her sitting on the stairway to the kitchens, saying she would NEVER learn German - and then she lived in Zurich for nearly 30 years!  When I would visit her in Zurich, she would speak English with an accent until she got warmed up.  What good memories I have of Ann, and what a loss."   ~ Norma Decker Hoagland