Beach, Amy

Beach, Amy, 1867–1944, American composer and pianist, b. Henniker, N.H., as Amy Marcy Cheney. A child prodigy, she received rather meagre training as a pianist in the United States, and toured there and in Europe. In composition she was largely self-taught. Her widely praised Gaelic Symphony (1896) was the first symphony by an American woman. She composed more than 150 works, including a piano concerto, chamber music, choral pieces, and well-known songs such as Ecstasy, Ah, Love but a Day, and The Year's at the Spring. Her music is in the romantic style of the 19th cent. She was famous in her era, but is little known today.

See A. F. Block, Amy Beach (1998).

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