Amy Beach

Well I told you I wanted to get away from those depressing Russians and Germans so I went looking far across the Atlantic where I found a little place called Hennicker, New Hampshire and a composer named Amy Beach.

She was quite the prodigy and started composing at the age of 4.  In her whole life she only had one year of formal education in composition, when she was 14, although she did receive extensive training in performance.

At 16 she made her professional debut and was soon a soloist with the Boston Symphony Opera.  Two years later she married a surgeon 24 years older who requested that she perform only once a year.

So she devoted herself to composing and was soon considered one of the major American composers.  She composed a piece to open the Women’s Building at the Columbia Exposition in 1893.

When her husband died she toured Europe for several years and upon her return was particularly noted for teaching and mentoring young musicians.  She was the first President of the Society of American Women Composers and wrote a book laying out her mostly self-taught compositional principles- Ten Commandments for Young Composers.

Her best known works are her Mass in E Flat Major, the Gaelic Symphony, and her opera Cabildo.  This piece, Piano Concerto Op. 45, starts on the right and continues below the fold.  It was posted by deviantrake.

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  1. This one wasn’t quite so hard as some.

    • TMC on May 12, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    listening to this while I catch up with mail and news.  

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