As the age of romantics grew steadily, a new name was introduced
into the fray. The name was Antonin Dvorák. His music
compelled the world to see the beauty of true romanticism. He music was so elegant
and so powerful that it still moves audiences today. With such
great influence on the upcoming composers, his name would live on
among the pantheon of great composers.
Antonin Dvorák was born in a small village near Prague. At the age of 11 he quit school to become an apprentice and eventually moved to Zlonce to learn German. However, during this time he studied music intensely. In 1857 he enrolled at the Prague Organ School. The school was very strict and he only learned about church music, but in his spare time he traveled to see the works of Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner performed.
After his graduation, he became the principal violist at the Provisional Theater Orchestra. Here he met Bedrich Smetana for the first time. Playing in the orchestra and teaching left him little time to compose. Therefore in 1871, he gave up the orchestra and began to compose full time.
One of his pupils was extremely beautiful and he wished that he could have married her. But she was taken by another man and in anguish he wrote a piece called Cypress Hills. After getting over his initial obsession he contented himself with marrying her younger sister Anna Cermakova.
In 1874, he desperately wanted to win the Austrian National prize for composition. He entered fifteen pieces, including his Third Symphony. He won the event and received the respect of many individuals, including Johannes Brahms. Soon he was commissioned for his ever-popular Slavonic Dances. This piece was characterized by quick and sudden changes from a robust dance beat to dark and ominous melodies.
His international fame quickly grew quickly and he was invited to England several times. Here he performed his most famous piece, Symphony no. 7, for the first time. In 1891, he was appointed a professor of composition at the Prague Conservatory, but he relinquished that spot to become the Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Here he composed his most famous pieces. These two are Symphony no. 9 also known as 'From the New World,' and his "American" String Quartet.
He returned to Prague in 1901, where he again became a professor
of composition at the Prague Conservatory. He focused the last few
years of his life on opera and symphonic poems. He died in
His Famous Compositions
Dvorák's music showed great nationalism. His native country
fought under the tyrannical rule of Germany for a great time, and
he conveyed the folklore of his country throughout his classical
music. His most notable pieces include Slavonic Dances, Symphonies
no. 7, 5, and 9, and his famous "American" String Quartet.
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