Amy Beach’s stunning Romance, played by a rising star violinist for International Women’s Day

7 March 2024, 21:18 | Updated: 8 March 2024, 10:34

Virtuosic duo play Amy Beach's breathtaking 'Romance' for violin and piano

By Kyle Macdonald

Marking International Women’s Day 2024 with a gem of a performance of this work of chamber music perfection.

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The work of a pioneering American composer and an outstanding young virtuoso come together, in this performance of a remarkable miniature for violin and piano.

In this new video, Amy Beach’s Romance Op.23 is played by 23-year-old violinist Deniz Sensoy and pianist Dina Duisen.

The composer was the first American woman to have a symphony published. Beach’s ‘Gaelic’ Symphony was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1896. She also wrote an outstanding piano concerto, choral works and an opera in one act. But in this piece, she shows her complete mastery of chamber music and more intimate compositions for small ensembles.

Read more: 10 women who changed the classical music world forever

American composer Amy Beach
American composer Amy Beach. Picture: Alamy

Beach’s Romance was written for another pioneering female musician, violinist Maud Powell, who premiered violin concertos by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Coleridge-Taylor in the United States.

The exquisite piece is anchored by a simple melody that tugs at the heartstrings. Over the next six minutes the music builds and swells with emotion and seamless dialogue between the instruments, before a delicate pianissimo ending. The work showcases Beach’s lyrical writing and musical storytelling at its best.

The premiere of the work was given by Powell with the composer at the piano. The audience was so taken by it, they immediately demanded that they play it in full again.

The piece, with two exceptional performers, feels a fitting way to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Watch the performance above – and with the quality of the musicianship on display, and that first performance in mind, repeated viewings may well be necessary.

Deniz Sensoy and Dina Duisen perform Amy Beach
Deniz Sensoy and Dina Duisen perform Amy Beach. Picture: Classic FM

Violinist Deniz Sensoy was born in Turkey in 2000. She now studies at the Royal College of Music in London, where she received the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Scholarship. Sensoy has also worked with none other than the great virtuoso and former Classic FM Artist in Residence Maxim Vengerov, who remarked that the young violinist has “a bright future”.

Sensoy is joined Kazak-British pianist Dina Duisen, for a session filmed in the Purcell Room of London’s Southbank Centre.

Find out more about Sensoy on Hennessey Brown Music. You can also find Dina’s solo piano album Mazurkas from Chopin to Adès here.

Throughout the day on International Women’s Day, Friday 8 March 2024, Classic FM will be featuring great female composers and performers of classical music history, and today. Listen live on Global Player.