Saturday, March 22, 2014

Amy Beach Festival at Meredith College

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6:30 AM

Quick post: went last night to the first evening of the Amy Beach Festival at Meredith, featuring a fascinating talk by Dr. Susan Borwick of Wake Forest and beautiful renditions of 4 Beach songs and the famous piano quintet by Meredith faculty.

Borwick's talk illuminates a lot of interesting and lesser-known interesting factors at play in Beach's life, including Beach's synesthesia and the strange back-and-forth of her childhood.
Her mother seems to have vacillated wildly between nurturing the musical genius in Amy and forbidding her to touch the piano or hear music, for fear that a child too proud of her talent or taking too much pleasure in music would fail to become "morally upstanding" as the family's Congregationalist church defined it. Also notable: once the young Amy Cheney married and became Mrs. H.H.A. Beach--the name with which she signed all of her compositions published in this country--Mr. H.H.A. Beach only allowed the gifted pianist, previously a rising star of the classical concert circuit, to perform in public once a year.

The faculty delivered lovely performances, and I will single them all out in another post later today. Unfortunate that I don't have time for the whole thing right now, but I wanted to get one post up this morning because the second concert of the festival is TONIGHT, In Carswell Concert Hall at Meredith College, at 7:30, featuring the same lecture by Dr. Borwick and performances of Beach's works by Meredith students. Go go go!!

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