Amy Marcy Beach was the first successful American female composer of large-scale musical works. A child prodigy who was originally trained as a concert pianist, she took up composition after her husband asked her to limit her performing activities to one public recital per year. Her first major success was her Mass in E-flat Major, which premiered in 1892 and was performed by Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society. The performance immediately put her at the forefront of American composers at the time. In addition to her career as composer and concert pianist, she was also a great advocate of music education. She is particularly well-known for her “Ten Commandments for Young Composers” and also served as the first president of the Society of American Women Composers. Needless to say, Amy Beach enjoyed a fantastic career as one of America’s first “leading ladies” in the field of composition.