Category Archives: New Scholarship

The Beach Sesquicentennial Continues! Looking Behind and Looking Ahead – a Review of Beach’s Opera Cabildo and a Preview of Tonight’s Concert Featuring Beach’s Mass in E-flat, Both by Renowned Musicologist Dr. Liane Curtis for the Boston Music Intelligencer!

Tonight’s performance of Beach’s Mass will be by the Commonwealth Chorale, and the New England Philharmonic orchestra at at 8pm at Church of the Holy Name (1689 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA). To read more about this event and hear about the inception of this performance and the new, revised edition of Beach’s Mass, check out Dr. Curtis’ preview.

The performances of Beach’s opera Cabildo marked the first performances of this lovely work since its revival 22 years ago in 1995 for the commercial recording. The performance also included a number of Beach’s songs. Enjoy reading about the event as reviewed by Dr. Curtis.

Here is the booklet from the premiere of Beach’s Mass in E-flat by the Handel and Haydn Society back during their 1892-93 season. This marked the first time a work by a woman was performed by the Society!

Lecture and Two Concerts at University of Maryland, Baltimore County Featuring Amy Beach’s Romance for Violin, Harp and Strings, Op. 23 & Piano Trio, Op. 150!

Join us at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for two wonderful events featuring music by Amy Beach! The concert on Friday, Nov. 17 will be preceded by a lecture by Dr. Liane Curtis! Also, the symphony concert on Sunday, Nov. 19 will include Amy Beach’s Romance transcribed for Solo Violin, Harp and Strings by Chris A. Trotman, Director of Publications for Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy! Both Liane Curtis and Chris A. Trotman will be in attendance for the Friday concert, and Mr. Trotman will be at the Symphony concert.

These events are free, but tickets are required so get them quickly if you wish to attend!

The Beach “Gaelic” Symphony Performance by Symphony NH Reviewed by Dr. Liane Curtis!

The “Gaelic” Symphony in E minor, Op. 32 by great American composer Amy Beach is receiving greater attention this year and the beginning of next due to it being the 150th anniversary of her birth. The major symphony orchestra in her home state of New Hampshire, Symphony NH, is performing the monumental symphony on three separate occasions. Symphony NH’s opening performance was on Friday in Concord, NH and the second in Nashau on Saturday. The final performance is tonight in Durham at the University of New Hampshire.

The opening concert in Concord was reviewed by Dr. Liane Curtis for the Boston Music Intelligencer, and you may read it here!

A Look Back at the Amy Beach/Teresa Carreño Music Conference Hosted by the University of New Hampshire!

The Amy Beach/Teresa Carreño conference, hosted by the University of New Hampshire special collections and music department, was a wonderfully informative and entertaining event! Now just a little over a week since the conference took place in Durham, New Hampshire, let’s take a look back at the various events and exhibits in greater detail!

Special thanks to Timothy Diovanni,  clarinetist and musicology student at Columbia University, for documenting the events, capturing images of some highlighted events and exhibits and providing his own insight into the occasion! His blog post for Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy may be viewed here.

(photo credit: T. Diovanni)

HAPPY 150th BIRTHDAY, AMY BEACH!!

As this year marks Amy Beach’s 150th birthday, much is being done in celebration about this remarkable woman’s life and work! Numerous orchestras, choral ensembles, chamber ensembles and soloists around the world have performed or will be performing works by the pioneering American composer/pianist this year and next in celebration.  There are new recordings available this year featuring her works and new scholarship has and will be written about her.  Additionally, new musical editions, both revised and published for the first time, are available by a variety of publishers, such as Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy Publications!

Here are a few highlights of what is happening for her birthday celebration –

1) The City of Boston will be declaring September 5th as Amy Beach Day! (a separate post will be made with more information!)

2) The upcoming Amy Beach/Teresa Carreño Conference at University of New Hampshire on Sept. 15 & 16

3) An article entitled “Amy Beach, a Pioneering American Composer, Turns 150” by musicologist William Robin featured in the NYTimes!

4) An article entitled “Amy Beach First Female Composer to Have Her Music Played by a Major Orchestra” by Troy Lennon, Classmate and History Editor of The Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, Australia!

5) A number of orchestras have and will be performing Beach’s monumental “Gaelic” Symphony in E minor, Op. 32 Bal Masqué, Op. 22, and others (some using Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy Publications’ revised editions) as well as choral ensembles performing her Grand Mass in E-flat, Op. 5! (Keep watching our news feed as we post about upcoming concerts!)

New Article Entitled “Amy Beach, a Pioneering American Composer, Turns 150” by Musicologist William Robin Featured in the NYTimes!!

As this year marks Amy Beach’s 150th birthday, much is being done in celebration about this remarkable woman’s life and work! Among the many events, recordings and scholarship concerning her life and work is an article entitled “Amy Beach, a Pioneering American Composer, Turns 150” by musicologist William Robin featured in the NYTimes!!

Recently joining the musicology faculty of University of Maryland in 2016, Will Robin has written an incredible article about the profoundly successful composer/pianist! The article also includes quotes by many of Beach’s contemporaries as well as comments from our founder and president, Dr. Liane Curtis!

You may read the article here.

Sepia (a) and b&w (b), 8×10, glossy, ca. 1920. Publicity portrait, frontal. Photographer: Rayhuff-Richter. 4 b&w prints.

New Article Entitled “After 123 Years, a Woman’s Symphony Returns to Center Stage” Concerning Amy Beach’s “Gaelic” Symphony Performance, Dr. Liane Curtis & Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy

In preparation for the performance of Amy Beach’s “Gaelic” Symphony in E minor, Op. 32 by the Westminster Community Orchestra in Princeton, New Jersey on Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m., an article written by Ross Amico was released by the U.S. 1 Newspaper including various details about the composer, the work and those involved.

The author beings by establishing the historical context of the time and discussing how Amy Beach composed her Symphony based on Gaelic themes in direct response to Antonín Dvořák’s use of African-American spirituals and Native American chants and dances in his “New World Symphony.”  Amico continues by discussing the Westminster Community Orchestra and its conductor, Dr. Ruth Ochs.  Dr. Ochs is quoted in stating that she “credits [Dr.] Liane Curtis, one of the teaching fellows at Harvard, with having introduced her to a number of women composers.”  Ochs continues to mention how Dr. Curtis is the founder and president of Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy, and how we at WPA provided financial support and our new revised edition of Amy Beach’s “Gaelic” Symphony for their performance!

You may read the entire article here.

“Beach on the Shell: How I Changed an Icon” – Dr. Liane Curtis’ Quest to Have Amy Beach’s Name Included on Boston’s Hatch Memorial Shell

In the following article, which was originally published in 2009, you will learn how Dr. Liane Curtis, with the support of Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center, was successful in having one of Boston’s prominent female composers, Amy Beach, added to the Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell, which up until that time included a list of all male composers. The Hatch Memorial Shell is an outdoor concert venue on the Charles River Esplanade in the Back Bay section of Boston, Massachusetts.

HAPPY 149TH BIRTHDAY, AMY BEACH!

Interest continues to build in the music of the exceptionally talented American pianist and composer, Amy Beach. Some exciting additions in the areas of music scholarship and publications concerning Amy Beach have been recently released just in time for her birthday!

(1) Published in May 2016 in the Journal of the Society for American Music (volume 10, issue 2, May 2016, pp. 149-180), musicologist Dr. Sarah Gerk’s article entitled “‘Common Joys, Sorrows, Adventures, and Struggles’: Transnational Encounters in Amy Beach’s ‘Gaelic’ Symphony” discusses Amy Beach’s conscious blending of multiple streams of influence – that of Irish folk tunes and American nationalistic styles at the end of the 19th century.

2) Our Amy Beach website (www.amybeach.org) sponsor, Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy (WPA), is launching a music publishing project: Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy Publications will help make more music accessible and available through carefully edited and affordable orchestral scores and parts. On the New Publications page of our website, www.wophil.org/publications/, we will be offering performance materials by Amy Beach as well as other female composers including Elfrida Andree, Marion Bauer, Rebecca Clarke and Vítězslava Kaprálová.  AND in honor of Amy Beach’s birthday (September 5) and her 150th anniversary next year (2017), we are offering our new edition of her Symphony in E minor, Op. 32, “Gaelic” (1896), edited and engraved by our Director of Music Publications, Chris A. Trotman.  In celebration of this exciting new venture, we are happy to make the score available (in PDF format) free of charge through September 2016.  Additional WPA editions of Amy Beach’s music may be found on our Amy Beach website – www.amybeach.org/music/publications/.  Please contact us at [email protected] if you would like a free PDF copy of the Gaelic Symphony score as well as if you would like more information or are interested in renting or purchasing any of the Amy Beach series selections!

WPA Publications Logo - publications url

MORE GOOD NEWS!! Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy (WPA) is happy to announce our 2016 Performance Grants, with awards of $500 to $1000 available to all U.S. orchestras. The Performance Grants promote the performance of unjustly neglected music by women and encourage orchestras to engage in adventurous and inclusive programming beyond the usual masterpieces. Recognizing that new or unusual repertoire often means additional costs for ensembles, WPA established our Performance Grants (in 2012) to help overcome this obstacle to performing works by women.  All U.S. orchestras – community, professional, and youth – are eligible to receive funding.  We suggest that applicants plan to perform more than one work by a woman, and include at least one historic work. The deadline is October 14, and the application form (and materials including repertoire ideas) is available on our website (http://www.wophil.org/grants/).  Decisions will be announced November 14.  The goal of these grants is to influence future programming; thus funding awarded in the Fall 2016 cycle must be utilized in the 2017 and/or 2018 calendar years.  Additionally, beginning in 2017, we will be offering our Grants twice a year.  The Spring 2017 grant cycle, intended to support performances occurring between June 1, 2017 and August 31, 2019, will begin receiving applications in January with applications due in late February.  Decisions will be announced on March 31.  We hope that this will accommodate the planning processes of more ensembles. APPLY TODAY!

New Research Puts Spotlight on Neglected American Composers of the 19th Century

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.