A Salute to Amy Beach
Dear Blog Visitors:
If you have followed my occasional commentaries related to classical music, you are aware that I was very sad when Christopher Seaman announced he was stepping down as music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. However, I was delighted when it was announced he would be named conductor laureate of the RPO, which means he will return to guest-conduct the orchestra once per year.
I attended the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's season-opener last night, with its new maestro, Arild Remmereit, at the podium. The combination of the concert and pre-concert chat gave the audience added confidence that the RPO is in good hands with Remmereit.
I applaud Maestro Remmereit for his decision to feature women composers as part of this season's repertoire. He explained this as a risky decision, for this has never been done in the RPO's long history. If last night's concert was any indication, Remmereit's decision has strong approval from Rochester's concert-attending community.
Last night's featured woman composer was Amy Beach (1867-1944). While she received much notoriety as a musical genious during her lifetime, as both a concert pianist and composer, her works seemed to fade into obscurity following her death. Sadly, this was the case for many women in the classical music field, especially in the area of composition. It is the hope of Arid Remmereit that by programming her Symphony #2 as part of last night's concert, audiences will aid the effort toward restoring Amy Beach's reputation as a first-class composer. The audience's response to the symphony was a well-deserved standing ovation.
I have included below a photo of the late Amy Beach. May she rest in peace, knowing that Maestro Arild Remmereit has resurrected her Symphony #2 and that last night's audience gave it an overwhelming vote of approval.
Peace to all,