Fay, Amy


American pianist and teacher. She was born at Bayou Goula, La., near New Orleans,, and is a daughter of Rev. Charles Fay. The families were musical on both sides, Miss Fay's mother being a musical genius, who without any instruction in early life, was able later to master the most difficult music. Amy Fay was the third of a family of seven, all of whom have been gifted musicians. She began to play by ear and to compose when very young, and after receiving careful instruction from her mother and father, she began the study of music. When twelve years old, her mother having died, she went to reside with a married sister at Cambridge, Mass.; and here she began to study Bach with Prof. J. K. Paine and to attend the piano class of Otto Dresel in the New England Conservatory at Boston. She made great progress in piano under a Polish teacher named Pychowski. When Miss Fay was about twenty-five she went to Europe and spent a year in Berlin as a pupil of Karl Tausig at his Conservatory. She then studied with Kullak for three years, going next to Weimar for a course of instruction under Liszt, after which, for a year and a half, Miss Fay worked diligently under Deppe, whose method of piano-playing she has described in her book, Music Study in Germany. After an absence of six years in Europe her debut in the United States was made at a concert of the Mendelssohn Glee Club, and she afterward appeared as pianist in many concerts and festivals with success. She removed to Chicago in 1878, where she has resided almost continuously ever since, teaching and giving concerts throughout the country. Miss Fay's book, Music Study in Germany, was published through the influence of the poet, Henry W. Longfellow, who revised it and gave it its name. At the request of the author's old teacher, Liszt, it was translated into German, and in 1886 was republished in London by request of Sir George Grove. It has been translated into many other languages and is most popular in her own country. Miss Fay is a charter member of the American College of Musicians and other societies. Liszt included her in the roll of his best pupils and had a high opinion of her.