Many composers were born in the Czech Republic. Antonín Dvořák is undoubtedly one of the most played today.
His plays are performed on stages around the world and this year marks the 180th anniversary of his birth.
Dvořák’s life in a nutshell
Antonín Dvořák was born on September 8, 1841 in Nelahozeves near Prague as the eldest son. He loved music from a very early age and played several musical instruments when he was little.
He studied at the Prague organ school where he later settled and got married. He started composing in the 1870s and became very popular over time. In 1884, he was invited to London to conduct his Stabat Mater, the work he composed after the death of his one-year-old daughter.
It was accepted with enormous success, establishing very strong relationships with the English music scene. Thanks to this, he received an honorary degree in Prague and Cambridge. He was friends with the Russian composer Tchaikovsky who invited him to perform in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
He became world famous when he was invited to the USA where he lived for three years at the end of the 19th century. He was well known during his lifetime and the Emperor of Austria appointed him a knight. Antonín Dvořák died on May 1, 1904 from a stroke and is buried in the Vyšehrad cemetery in Prague.
Today, September 8, twenty-five concerts of the 63rd edition will take place in six Czech regions. The uniqueness of the Dvořák festival lies mainly in the diversity of genres of the program.
You will have the chance to enjoy not only a repertoire of classical music but also jazz, folk, rock and folk compositions. The aim of the festival is to show living inspiration from the work of Antonín Dvořák, which is also reflected in genres far removed from classical music.
More information here
The lost symphony
Dvořák composed his first four-movement symphony in early 1865. However, he did not live to see its creation.
The symphony, called The bells of Zlonice, was created on October 4, 1936 in Brno, 32 years after his death. All his life, the composer believed that the piece was lost. However, many years later he was found in the estate of a certain Charles University professor.
Dvořák’s first symphony was then performed several times, but the first full recording was not made until 1966 by the London Symphony Orchestra.