March 2019

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Beach's Hermit Thrush At Eve

    Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (Sept. 5, 1867 - December 27, 1944) was an American composer and pianist.  Extremely gifted from a young age, Beach's talents seemed to run in the family, with various members playing instruments or singing, and showing great aptitude for music. Beach was exceptionally talented, having learned 40 songs around the age of one, and at two she was able to sing counter melodies. She taught herself to read at three, and composed some piano waltzes at age four. She began formal lessons with her mother at six, and was soon giving public recitals and performing her own music.  In 1875, her family moved from New Hampshire to Chelsea, Massachusetts, and instead of enrolling their talented daughter in a European conservatory, they chose to keep her training local. She studied piano along with harmony and counterpoint, but her thirst for knowledge was formidable. She did additional work on her own time outside of her studies. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Boulanger's Hymne au Soleil

    Marie-Juliette Olga "Lili" Boulanger (Aug. 21, 1893 - March 15, 1918) was a French composer, and  the younger sister of the famed composition teacher/composer Nadia Boulanger. Born in Paris, Lili Boulanger was a child prodigy; at the age of two, it was discovered that she had perfect pitch. Her parents, both musicians, encouraged her musical education, and she would accompany her sister...
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Amalia's Divertimento

    Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (Oct. 24, 1739 - April 10, 1807) was a German princess and composer. As a patron of art and literature, she transformed her court in to an influential cultural center in Germany.  Continue reading →
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Holmès' Fantaisie

    Augusta Holmès (Dec. 18, 1847 - Jan. 28 1903) was a pianist and composer, born in Paris, of Irish descent. Despite showing great talent as a child, she wasn't allowed to take piano at the Paris Conservatory. Instead she took private piano lessons with Mademoiselle Peyrnnet, and later on, harmony and counterpoint with Henri Lambert, and composition lessons with Hyacinthe Klosé. Holmès became a student of César Frank in 1876, and considered him her greatest teacher. Continue reading →

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