Unfortunately, very few – close to zero – living classical music fans have heard of many wonderful 19th Century, American orchestral works, because they were rarely performed by orchestras of the time, who preferred to play it safe with Brahms, Beethoven and other European masters. The works, including the “Gaelic” Symphony by Amy Beach, were nearly forgotten until a Vanderbilt University musicologist became determined to rescue them.
Doug Shadle, assistant professor of musicology at Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt, has been studying about 50 American composers active in the 1800s. They are the subject of his new book, Orchestrating the Nation: The Nineteenth-Century American Symphonic Enterprise (Oxford University Press).
For more information, click here.
The Orion Ensemble will perform Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor, Op. 67 as well as works by Dvořák and Brahms. The ensemble’s fourth and final program entitled “Musical Enchantments” will take place at three Chicago-area venues:
- First Baptist Church of Geneva, 2300 South Street in Geneva, IL on Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 7 p.m.
- PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
- Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, IL on Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Single tickets are $26, $23 for seniors and $10 for students; children 12 and younger are free. A four-ticket flexible subscription provides a 10 percent savings on full-priced tickets. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
Li Lidan of China will perform Monday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. in the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts recital hall at Indiana State University.
Her program includes “Susser Blumen Ambra Flocken” (Handel), “Ave Maria” (Caccini), “Long Time Ago” (Aaron Copland), “Take O Take Those Lips Away” (Amy Beach), “Rompe Sprezza” (A. Scarlatti), “Soldier’s Wife” (Rachmaninoff), “Clair de Lune” (Faure) and “Meine Liebe Ist Grun” (Johannes Brahms).
The recital is free and open to the public.
For more information, click here.
The Augusta Symphony Orchestra will be performing the Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor, Op. 45 by Amy Beach with piano soloist, Virginia Eskin, and the “New World Symphony” by Antonín Dvořák.
The Augusta Symphony Orchestra Fall 2015 Concert will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2015, 7:00pm at Hope Baptist Church, Manchester, ME.
Tickets are available for purchase at the door. Adults $10.00. Students and children free.
For more information, please click here.
The last in the series of pianist Angela Zanders’ illustrated recitals entitled ‘A Celebration of Women Composers’ takes place on Saturday, November 14, at 3pm at St. Peter’s Church in Petersfield, United Kingdom.
This recital introduces the moving and dramatic music of the American composer Amy Beach, the award-winning contemporary British composer, Cecilia McDowall, and Rebecca Clarke, featuring her most famous work, the Viola Sonata. Also featuring works by Edward MacDowell and Vaughan Williams.
Joining Angela for this recital are Margaret Humphrey Clark (mezzo soprano), Catherine Lett (violin) and Sara Deborah Timossi (viola/violin).
Entry is free with retiring collection and refreshments will be served in the interval.
For more information, click here.
The UW School of Music’s new violin professor will share the stage with pianist Martha Fischer in a demanding program that includes Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C major for solo violin, Brahms’ second violin sonata, Ives’ Violin Sonata No. 2 and the soaring “Romance” by Amy Beach. The debut recital will take place during the UW School of Music faculty concert on Nov. 13 at 8pm in Mills Concert Hall of the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. The event costs $12.
For more information, click here
Music City is about to get another orchestra. This new community ensemble, called the Nashville Citizens Orchestra, will be open to amateurs and professionals of all ages. Performances will begin next year at Gordon Jewish Community Center.
“I know there are a lot of people in Nashville who play instruments but have no outlet for their talents,” the group’s founding conductor, Gabrielle Lewis, tells the Scene. “We’re going to give them an opportunity to play.”
Lewis, a graduate of the University of Michigan who’s now studying with conductor Robin Fountain at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, says the Citizens Orchestra will of course perform a wide selection of European masterpieces. But she says the orchestra will also play the music of such early 20th-century American composers as William Grant Still, Amy Beach, Edward McDowell and Arthur Foote, among many others. “These were significant composers whose music was unfortunately overshadowed by the European composers of the day,” Lewis says.
Auditions for the Citizens Orchestra will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6 at Gordon Jewish Community Center. Interested musicians will need to prepare one short lyrical piece and one short technical piece for the audition. Lewis will also have musicians read through an orchestral excerpt.
Musicians of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to apply. Interested artists must contact Lewis in advance and indicate their instrument and how long they’ve been playing. Contact Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 629-777-6517.
For more information, see here.
The works of eight composers who contributed to world music while living in New England will be performed by pianist David Pihl on Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts, 1A North Road in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
The program includes works by Amy Beach, John Alden Carpenter, Edward MacDowell, Alan Hovhaness, Charles Ives, William McKinley, Stephen Peisch and Marc Rossi.
For more information, please visit here.
The Scottish ensemble Vocali3e will present a concert of works in the Scots and Scottish Gaelic languages at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21, in the Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts on the University of Delaware campus in Newark, Delaware.
The ensemble, which comprises soprano, flute and piano, will also present works by living composers Thea Musgrave, Lori Laitman and UD’s Jennifer Margaret Barker, professor of music theory and composition in the Department of Music. Additional works on the program will include romantic, classical and baroque settings of Scots and Scottish Gaelic composed by Amy Beach, Joseph Haydn and James Oswald, respectively.
For more information, please visit here.
The Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Jonathan Edward Brennand, will be joined by the Farmington High School Women’s Chorus, Katie Tewksbury, Director, in a concert featuring “Women in Music,” Sunday, Oct. 25, 4 p.m. at the Lincoln Theater, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, Connecticut.
The program will feature compositions by three female composers, Gwyneth Walker, Clemence de Grandval and Amy Beach. The program’s major work will be the “Gaelic” by the late 19th and early 20th Century New England composer Amy Beach, who was only 30 years old when the work was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1896. The title, “Gaelic,” refers to the Irish, Scottish and English folk tunes she incorporates into her symphony.
The Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1981 at Miss Porter’s School, Farmington, rehearses at Porter Memorial Hall, Farmington. Its 80 volunteer musicians represent many walks of life from the Farmington Valley and central Connecticut. Tickets for the Oct. 25 concert are $18 adults, $15 seniors and students. For more information, please visit here.
Our new Amy Beach Discography is now available! Feel free to explore the many commercially available recordings that feature many works of Amy Beach!
The Discography list, which is directly based on the layout of the Works List, currently includes commercial CD recordings, but soon the list will include additional available formats (LP, CD, DVD, etc).
The piano trio, Trio des Alpes, will be performing three piano trios on Saturday, September 19, 2015 in Greifensee, Switzerland. The piano trios include Trio, Op. 150 by Amy Beach, Trio H. 327 by Bohuslav Martinů and Trio, Op. 26 by Antonín Dvořák. Their webpage concerning upcoming concerts is here.
Check-out our new comprehensive Amy Beach Works List! The many diverse works by Amy Beach are arranged in tables, which are organized first by genre and then by ascending order of Opus number and/or year of composition/publication. The list also includes works she composed while still a child, as well as arrangements by Beach of works by others.
Check-out our new Media page, where you will find links to selected YouTube recordings of the music by Amy Beach! The list includes a variety of her music, such as works for voice, chorus, solo piano, chamber ensembles and even works for full orchestra!
New England Legacy: Sounds of our Heritage
Violin Sonata by Amy Beach, Piano Quartet by Arthur Foote, and arrangements and improvisations on Shaker hymn tunes and American folk songs. Performed by Yi-heng Yang, piano, Tricia Park, violin, Sarah Darling, viola, Steuart Pincombe, ‘cello, Maxwell Zeugner, double bass, and Michelle Pincombe, vocalist.
The concert will take place this Saturday, September 5 at 4:00 pm at the Ashburnham Community Church in Ashburnham, Massachusetts .
Admission: $10.00 per adult. Children and students, free.
More information may be found here.
A voice recital at Austin Peay State University will be featuring soprano Kate Rawls and pianist Mei-En Chou. They will be doing various songs/arias, including music by Amy Beach! The recital will take place on Thursday, September 17th at 7:30pm in the George and Sharon Mabry Concert Hall on the University campus. More information is available here.
Check-out our new list of Amy Beach music manuscript facsimiles now available through the Music – Music Manuscripts tab. These public domain manuscript scores are available via IMSLP or the International Music Score Library Project site. More information about these holograph manuscript scans and how to access them is located on the Music Manuscripts page!
More scanned Amy Beach manuscripts will be added soon, so check back for updates!
Check out our newly added comprehensive bibliography! The bibliographic list contains various sources such as articles, books, theses/dissertations, etc. concerning the life and work of Amy Beach.
Also, feel free to browse the new collection of Amy Beach photographs in our photo gallery!
We will continue our preparations for the 2017 sesquicentennial or 150th anniversary of the birth of America’s first successful, female composer, Amy Beach, with significant additions. This additional content concerning her incredible life and diverse compositional work will include the following:
(1) an in-depth biography of Amy Beach
(2) a timeline of significant life events and works of Beach
(3) an exhaustive works list including juvenile and other works
(4) a comprehensive bibliography
(5) an up-to-date discography
(6) a list of links to public domain Beach MSS uploaded to IMSLP
(7) an extensive photo gallery collection
Some public domain Beach MSS have already been uploaded to IMSLP, and more will be added soon!
As always, we would love to receive your feedback, so feel free to comment or email us with your questions and/or suggestions!
We are in the midst of planning a celebration to honor Amy Beach’s Sesquicentennial, which will take place in 2017. For more information, please feel free to sign-up for our email list and/or subscribe to the blog.
Our goal is to have her music played in many venues in 2017 to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the birth of a truly phenomenal composer, and a pioneer for women in classical music.
Stay tuned for updates about the celebration and for more information on Amy Beach’s amazing work.
Additionally, we would love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to comment on the site or email us directly about what you would like to see on this website. We also invite ideas on how to celebrate Amy Beach.