Amy Beach

Bal masqué, op. 22

            Amy Beach was a remarkable woman by any measure.  Without doubt she was this country’s first woman to have carved out an acclaimed musical career that equaled that of any important American male musician, and transcended most.  She enjoyed a noteworthy life as a piano virtuoso, composer, and influential leader in music education, public music advocacy, and music journalism.  But it was as a prolific and highly respected composer of the first water that she made her historical mark in American classical music.  Simply put, she was our county’s first outstanding female composer.   At the time of her early years, American classical music was still very much simply an outpost of Europe, European musicians, and European musical traditions.  Our symphony orchestras were populated