Many composers have been born in the Czech Republic. Antonín Dvořák is undoubtedly one of the most played ones at present.
His pieces are performed on world stages and this year is the 180th anniversary of his birth.
Dvořák’s Life in a Nutshell
Antonín Dvořák was born on 8 September 1841 in Nelahozeves nearby Prague as the first-born son. He was fond of music since early childhood and played several music instruments when he was small.
He studied the organ school in Prague where he later settled down and married. He started composing in the 1870s and became quite popular over time. In 1884, he was invited to London to conduct his Stabat Mater, the work he composed after his one-year-old daughter died.
He was accepted with enormous success, establishing really strong relations with the English music scene. Thanks to that, he received an honorary degree in Prague and Cambridge. He was friends with Russian composer Tchaikovsky who invited him to perform in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
He became world-famous when he was the guest in the USA where he lived for three years at the end of the 19th century. He was well known during his life and the Austrian Emperor named him a knight. Antonín Dvořák died on 1 May 1904 due to a stroke and he is buried at the cemetery in Vyšehrad in Prague.
Today, September 8, twenty-five concerts of the 63rd edition will take place in six Czech regions. The uniqueness of Dvořák’s festival lies mainly in the genre diversity of the program.
You will get a chance to enjoy not only a repertoire of classical music but also jazz, folk, rock and folk compositions. The purpose of the festival is to show a living inspiration stemming from the work of Antonín Dvořák, which is also reflected in genres distant from classical music.
More information here
The lost symphony
Dvořák composed his first four-movement symphony at the beginning of 1865. However, he did not live to see its premiere.
The symphony, known as The Bells of Zlonice, was first performed on October 4, 1936 in Brno, 32 years after his death. For his entire life the composer believed the piece to be lost. However, many years later it was found in the estate of a certain professor at Charles University.
Dvořák’s first symphony was later played several times, but the first complete recording was not made until 1966 by the London Symphony Orchestra.