Antonín Leopold Dvorák
Sept. 8, 1841 -to- May 1, 1904
Dvorák is recognized as the first Bohemian composer to gain worldwide
recognition. He learned music early, in and around his father’s inn. Still
young, but an accomplished violinist, Dvorák often performed for the local
couples as they danced.
In 1857, a music teacher of Dvorák persuaded his father to send him to an
organ school in Prague, as the teacher felt he was now inferior to his student.
Without any financial support from his father, Dvorák would go on to perform
viola locally in small theatre bands and at inns. During the 1860’s, Dvorák
experienced countless difficulties attempting to compose. Regardless, many
works, including symphonies and an opera, were in his desk not being heard of.
He held a few small concerts in Prague which would slowly help him establish
a reputation in the area. He married Anna Cermáková and began a somewhat
pleasant family life. In 1875 Dvorák would receive a grant that would begin his
friendship with Brahms. Brahms eventually helped make Dvorák and his
After traveling to England and being invited to perform in Russia by his
friend Tchaikovsky, he was named the honorary doctor of music at the University
of Cambridge. Dvorák later traveled to the United States but would ultimately
find himself homesick and chose to return to Bohemia in 1895. Dvorák’s final
years contained many more works right to his death in 1904.