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Amy Marcy Cheney Beach Edit Profile

composer , pianist

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach was an American composer and pianist. She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. Her "Gaelic" Symphony was the first symphony composed and published by an American woman. She was one of the first American composers to succeed without the benefit of European training, and one of the most respected and acclaimed American composers of her era.


Beach, Amy Marcy Cheney was born on September 5, 1867 in Henniker, New Hampshire, United States. Daughter of Charles Abbott and Clara Imogene (Marcy) Cheney.


She get education by mother, then played on the piano and harmony under Junius W. Hill, Ernest Perabo and Carl Baermann. Also, she studied fugue, form, counterpoint and instrumentation alone with text books.


Amy Cheney made her concert debut at age sixteen on October 18, 1883 in a "Promenade Concert" conducted by Adolph Neuendorff at Boston's Music Hall. The next two years of her career included performances in Chickering Hall, and she starred in the final performance of the Boston Symphony's 1884–85 season.

Amy would later recall one rehearsal for a Mendelssohn concerto in 1885, when the conductor slowed the orchestra during the last movement, attempting to go easy on the teenage soloist. She composed more than 150 numbered works - choral, orchestral, sacred, songs and music to the poetry of major poets.


  • compositions

    • Mass in E flat

      ((sung by Boston Handel and Haydn Society))

  • opera

    • Cabildo

  • symphony

    • Gaelic Symphony or Symphony in E-Minor



She was married Henry Harris Aubrey Beach, December 2, 1885 (died 1910).

Charles Abbott Cheney

Clara Imogene (Marcy) Cheney

Henry Harris Aubrey Beach