Amy Beach (September 5, 1867 – December 27, 1944) was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. Her “Gaelic” Symphony – which you can listen to below in a performance of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra led by Neeme Järvi – premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1896, and was the first symphony composed and published by an American woman.

Acclaimed as a pianist as well, she was also one of the first U.S. composers to have her music be recognized in Europe. A whole lot of information is available at


Cover image by Jonathan Bowers

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