Obituary: Zurich’s Director of Studies Ann Beckman Dies at 69

By Francisco Salazar

Opernhaus Zurich’s director of studies Ann Beckman has died at the age of 69.

Beckman, a native of Kansas, United States studied piano and conducting. After graduating, she worked as a pianist and musical assistant at the Portland Opera and later as a song accompanist for the Berkshire Music Center. There, she worked alongside Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and John Wustman.

She would also be hired by the Lyric Opera of Chicago as a Musical Assistant and in 1978 went to Germany to work at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and the Bayerische Staatsoper. In 1986, she became director of studies at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels and in 1992 she moved to the Zurich Opera House where she became the director of studies for 20 years. She was also the pianist and musical assistant to conductors Riccardo Chailly, Marc Minkowski, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and Franz Welser-Möst.

Beckman also supervised productions at the Théâtre du Châtelet, L’Opéra National de Paris, and the Festival de Radio France in Montpellier.