Amy Marcy Cheney Beach
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Written by Link Free or Die

Composer (1867-1944)

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach

Born in Henniker, NH just after the Civil War Amy Cheney was composing piano tunes by age four. Today she is remembered as "America's first distinguished and celebrated woman composer". The NH prodigy was performing publicly in Boston by age 16. At 18 she married a prominent 43-year old Boston doctor who urged his wifeto compose rather than perform on the piano. As Mrs. H.H. A. Beach she composed more than 150 numbered works - choral, orchestral, sacred, songs. She composed music to the poetry of major poets and, after her husband's death, toured Europe with great success after the turn of the 20th century. She attended the MacaDowell summer artist's colony in Peterborough, NH for two decades starting in 1921. Her work thrives today on the Internet, in CD, in sheet music, on digital files, in books - and her compositions are continually performed.

A child prodigy from Henniker, her music
is still widely performed today

More Famous NH People 



Women in American History
An online series by Encyclopedia Britannica

Amy Beach and the birth of "Gaelic" Symphony
How to Write an American Symphony, article by Adrienne Fried Block on American Composers

Amy Beach
Snort bio from the Capitol Hill Choral Society

Mrs. H.H.A. Beach, New Hampshire Composer
Superb University of New Hampshire special collections online exhibit including letters, many photos, music

Amy Marcy Beach: Composer Profile
From Thomas Hampson "I Heave America Singing"
WNET, New York, Great Performance Series

Amy Beach: The First Great Woman Composer of America
By Gail Smith of Creative Keyboard Productions

Short Biography from Women's Pages

Student Report on Any Beach from Olympia, WA

Composer Beach Strikes a Chord
News article from the Concord Monitor, NH Bio
Collaboration of the center for the public domain

The Only Henniker on Earth
Hometown of Amy Beach and Ocean Born Mary

The MacDowell Colony


Book: Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian
The Life and Work of an American Composer by Adrienne Friend Block

Book Review: Amy Beach and Her Chamber Music
Review of book by by Jeanell Wise Brown

UNH Special Collections

The Life & Music of Amy Beach
Photos, essays and music complied by Gail Smith, Mel Bay Productions

AMB Links from "Women in Music"

Amy Beach Special Collections
University of Missouri Library, Kansas City, MO


"Ah, Love, But a Day" written 1900 (AUDIO)
Music by AMB to lyrics by Robert Browing, performed here by Frederica von Stade & John Browning. Lyrics included with excellent sound file.

Amy Beach Compact Disk
Recorded by the Capitol Hill Chorus

Minuet in F (Op. 36, No. 1) (ACROBAT)
Download the sheet music and play it yourself.

Amy Beach "Sacred Music" (AUDIO)
Audio samples of The Chancel Choir of Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church

"Morning Glories" on CD
Joanne Polk with the Lark Quartet, classical piano

Amy Beach -- Work for the Piano
Sheet music collection with ordering form from Florida


Women's Early Music, Art, Poetry

Mostly MIDI Mostly Early Soundfiles by Women Composers

Composers Index - Women Composers

Historical Women Composers from Women in Music

The Woman Composer Question: Bibliography
From the Nortron Grove Dictionary of Women, The American Composers Alliance

Amercian Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP)

Broadcast Music, Inc.

More Famous NH People 

Photo: UNH Special Collections
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