Yoon Joung Lee
Amy Marcy Cheney, the first successful American female composer and pianist, was born in Henniker, New Hampshire in 1867. Her outstanding musical talents were discovered when she was very young. When she was four, she began playing piano and composing music. When she was 7, she publicly performed and she entered Boston’s musical community when was 8. In 1883 when she was sixteen, she made her first professional piano debut playing Moscheles Piano Concerto in G minor with an orchestra. Later, she became a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In 1885 when she was eighteen, she married Dr. Henry Harris Aubrey Beach who was a prominent Boston physician. Since her marriage, she shifted her focus from performance to composition by her husband’s request. She also changed her professional name to Mrs. H. H. A. Beach. She devoted lots of her time to writing musics and her works were performed in many places by many different artists. In 1986, she received the world’s attention for her Gaelic Symphony in E Minor at Boston Symphony performance and it helped confirm her as one of the country’s prominent composers.
During her life, she created more than 150 works of chamber, orchestral works, and church songs. The beginning of her works were influenced by Wagner and Brahms. But she put in her own characteristic elements like intensity and passion.
Her celebrated compositions include “Gaelic Symphony,” “Cabildo,” “Mass in E-flat,” “The Song of Welcome,” “The Chambered Nautilus,” “Eilende Wolken,” “The Hermit Thrush at Morn,” “Dreaming,” “Ah, Love, but a Day” and “The Year’s at the Spring.”
In 1910 after her husband died, she decided to tour Europe. She also revived her career and used her maiden name- Amy Cheney. When she came back to the U.S. she reused her married name. For the next thirty years, she kept composing and performing.
Failing health hampered her activities during her final years. Her body condition often limited her concert. In 1944, Cheney died by heart failure at the age of 77.
Yoon Joung Lee
Hypatia of Alexandria was born into the mathematician and astronomer, Theon Alexsandricus, who was devoted to divination and astrology. During her childhood, her father tried to make her a perfect human and he raised her in an environment of thought. While her father taught his daughter his own knowledge and passion in the search for answers to the unknown, they formed a strong bond and he significantly influenced the way she looked at the world. As she grew older, her passion and enthusiasm for mathematics and the sciences also grew. She lead the Platonist School of Alexandria, teaching Philosophy and Astronomy.
Her father, Theon, taught her how to make not only a highly functional mind but also a healthy body. He taught her the different religions of the world and helped her to distinguish their difference. He also mainly taught her the fundamentals of teaching and the power of words that influence people. She later became a popular teacher and orator; and people from various far away areas came all the way to listen to her teaching.
She was respected by many officials in the city including the Prefect of Alexandria, Orestes. He often asked for her counsel on administrative affairs. Orestes had a tension with the Partriarch Cyril, the Bishop of St. Mark, who had a mission to bring Christianity to Alexandria and to get rid of pagans and Jews from the city.
One day, Orestes tortured one of the loyal supporters of Cyril, Hierax, in public because Hierax caused an uproar where many Jews and Christians congregated and presented. Cyril got very angry after he heard of this and the tension between Orestes and Cyril rose. Cyril made efforts to reconcile his differences with Orestes, but failed. Then Cyril begun to blame Hypatia for the failure of reconcile and started to spread a rumor that she was the cause of strained relations between the bishop and the prefect.
In 415 during Lent, on her way home, a Christian mob attacked her. They stripped her naked and dragged her through the streets in front of the Christianised Caesareum church where they killed her. After her death, the bishop covered up her murder by his Christian followers and told people that she had moved to Athens.
Hypatia’s life ended with this brutal murder, but many of her outstanding works remained. Her extraordinary impact on women in her time was an amazing accomplishment. Many considered her a woman with great knowledge, a most famous female scientist and excellent teacher.