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Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák

Country of origin: Czech Republic
Birthday: September 8, 1841
Date of death: May 1, 1904

About Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvorák, Czech composer, one of the most famous representatives of the national styles emerging in the 19th century.

Dvorák studied at the Organ School in Prague and played in various orchestras as a violist (1862-71 under Bedrich Smetana). On the recommendation of Brahms, among others, he was awarded a national scholarship of Austria (1875-78). After several concert tours in England (since 1884) he was appointed professor of composition at the Prague Conservatoire in 1891. His impressions of a stay in America (189295 artistic director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York) are captured in his last symphony »From the New World«.

Dvorák's early works were oriented first towards Viennese Classicism, then towards Schumann, Liszt and Wagner. The influence of Brahms and Smetana showed after 1870 as well as in later Impressionist works. Dvorák's energetic style of composition combines the classical form with Bohemian and Moravian folk music. His oeuvre marks the beginning of modern Czech music. Dvorák's catalogue of works contains ten operas, such as »The Peasant a Rogue« (1877), »The Jacobin« (1889), »Rusalka« (1901), »Armida« (1904); nine symphonies, including the Ninth (No.5) in E minor Op.95 »From the New World« (1893); 16 »Slavonic Dances« Op.46 (1878) to which Dvorák owed his fame, and Op.72 (1887; all originally for piano duet); overtures, symphonic poems and instrumental concertos (Violoncello Concerto in B minor Op.104, 1895); four string quintets, 17 string quartets, two piano quartets as well as four piano trios (such as »Dumky« in E minor Op.90, 1891); numerous dances and character pieces for piano, including »Silhouettes« Op.8 (1879) and »8 Humoresques« Op.101 (1894; as No.7 the famous Humoresque in G flat major); oratorio »St. Ludmila« Op.71 (1886); Requiem Op.89 (1890); choral works with orchestra »Hymnus« Op.30 (1872) and »Stabat mater« Op.58 (1877); songs with piano accompaniment, such as »Gipsy Songs« Op.55 (1880) as well as »Biblical Songs« Op.99 (1894).