Nina Schumann was born into a musical family, receiving her early music tuition from Rona Rupert and Lamar Crowson. Her first appearance with an orchestra was at the age of 15 and her talent soon captured the attention of the public when she won the Fifth National Music Competition for high school pupils in 1988. She went on to win the Oude Meester Music Prize (1989), the Forte Competition (1990) and during 1991 both the Wooltru Scholarship and the Adcock-Ingram Music Prize.
She has over 140 concerto performances with orchestras in South Africa, Germany, Portugal, Scotland, Armenia and the United States to her credit, and some 40 concertos in her repertoire.
In 1993 Schumann won the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition and was awarded the Jules Kramer and Harry Crossley Bursaries for Overseas Study by the University of Cape Town. She crowned these prizes by winning the sought-after SABC Music Prize as well as the Oude Meester National Chamber Music Competition.
International accolades followed: she won prizes for the Best South African Pianist in the 1993 UNISA International Piano Competition, Finalist and Special Prize Winner at the Shreveport Concerto Competition (1996) and Third Prize in the Casablanca International Piano Competition (1997).
After completing her MMus at the University of California, Los Angeles, Schumann enrolled for a Doctorate of Music at the University of North Texas under the tutelage of Van Cliburn-winner, Vladimir Viardo. She received several academic prizes: Dean’s Medal (UCT), Best Performer (UCLA), Best Performer (UNT), Best Pianist (UNT) and Best Doctoral Student (UNT).
Following her appointment as Associate Professor and Head of Piano at the University of Stellenbosch in 1999, Schumann transferred her Doctorate to UCT, where she graduated in 2005. In 2009 she was awarded the UCT Rector’s Award for Excellence in recognition of her contribution to music.
Solo career and academic life aside, Schumann has formed a critically acclaimed duo with her husband, pianist Luis Magalhães, simply titled TwoPianists. Their CD’s have received rave reviews from international publications such as Diapason, International Record Review and Allmusic.com. In 2011, American Record Guide named their second CD it’s Editor’s Choice. Together with Magalhães, Schumann is a founder and director of TwoPianists Records, which is distributed worldwide by Naxos, thereby ensuring immediate international market access for the artists they are committed to record. For two consecutive years, TwoPianists Records won the South African Music Award for the Best Popular Classical Album. Schumann’s first recording with mezzo-soprano Michelle Breedt, Shakespeare Inspired, also received the German Critics’ Choice Award.
Schumann has given master classes worldwide at prestigious international institutions and music schools such as the Juilliard School of Music. During the 2013/2014 season, she made her much-anticipated Wigmore Hall and Zürich Tonhalle debuts.
In May 2014 Nina Schumann became Yamaha International Artist.