INVOCATION: Ode aan Amy Beach
During the summer of 2021, we got deeply inspired by the music of an American composer. When we discovered the collection of chamber music that Amy Beach had written, we started to talk to colleagues about her job. Surprisingly, not many of them knew her music. We believe that Beach deserve urgently this "Invocation" and that people hear her amazing pieces. We count for this project with the collaboration of the pianist Carol Ruiz.
This project has been funded by Gemeente Den Haag, Stichting Norma, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Voordekunst.
From a rural environment to the concert halls
Born in 1867 in the United States, Beach lived at a time when the oppression of women in rural areas was commonplace. Middle-class, she had grown up in a house with a piano that her mother played regularly.
Her talent for music was extraordinary: she was an incredibly good pianist and composer. All the musicians and teachers were surprised by her high abilities, but the idea of leading a public life in the concert hall did not please her parents.
Later, her husband (a surgeon twenty-four years older than Amy) also objected to her offering many concerts, but he allowed her to compose. After her husband's death in 1910, she became a famous composer in the previous years to World War I, not only in the US but also in Europe. When the war broke out, she moved to New York where she worked as a concert artist during the winters and as a composer during the summers until the date of her death.
Her style is comparable to Brahms, always with a romantic flavour, but characterized by her constant struggle against the oppression of women in society. Her figure as an artist was lost until 1990, when a group of women rescued her from the darkness.
Carol Ruiz (pianist)
Carol Ruiz was born in Barcelona and has lived in the Netherlands since 2004. She came to the Netherlands to obtain her Masters at the Hogeschool voor Kunsten in Utrecht with Alan Weiss. After her Masters final exam she was assessed as “tremendous artistic possibilities”.
Carol's passion lies in continuous listening and the search for the perfect legato and the most beautiful breathtaking sound.
Carol is currently a successful solo pianist, piano teacher and accompanist for musicians in Utrecht and Woerden (Netherlands). She is active as a pianist and in the world of chamber music she is regularly asked to collaborate with other professional musicians. She is also co-teacher of several opera projects.
In 2014 she participated in a CD recording of the Chopin Nocturnes project by Excellent Recordings. Her first solo CD “Nocturnes” was released in November 2017. In December 2020, in the middle of the Lockdown of the Covid 19 pandemic and thanks to a successful Crowdfounding campaign, her second album “Mompou and More” was released with works for piano by Catalan composers. An Ode to her native country. This album has been presented live in “De Morgen van 4” in Radio 4, in January 2021; and in Radio Catalunya Musica (Catalan Classical Music National Radio) in March 2021.
As part of the CEP (Center for Piano Studies) she wants to promote the social aspect of music, through house concert series in Maarssen at her home, named Tuinwijkhuis concert series, The Maarssen Edition.