Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear live the first symphony composed by an American woman!
Join Ruth Ochs and the Westminster Community Orchestra in a concert featuring a special performance of Amy Beach’s Gaelic Symphony and the world premiere of a new work by composer Caeleb Tee. The concert also features Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage.
Amy Beach (1867-1944) inspired many generations of female composers in the United Sates. The Boston Symphony Orchestra premiered the Gaelic Symphony in 1896 on one of its regular subscription concerts. After the premiere, her fellow Boston composer, George Whitefield Chadwick wrote that she is now “one of the boys,” as only men had composed symphonies up until that point.
The Gaelic Symphony was a direct response to Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s efforts to create an “American symphonic sound” with his New World Symphony. Instead of using spirituals as source material, Amy Beach turned to the Irish and Scotch melodies popular in her native New England.
Musical composition would remain male dominated for many more decades, but Amy Beach broke an important glass ceiling. The Gaelic Symphony stands tall on its own musical merit and is a wonderful reminder of the important achievements determined and talented women of our nation’s past have made.
MENDELSSOHN: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
BEACH: Gaelic Symphony
TEE: the heroine’s theme (world premiere)
Support for this concern has been provided by a generous contribution from Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy (www.wophil.org).