Antonín Leopold Dvořák [ˈ ː n antɔɲi ˈ lɛɔpɔlt ˈ dvɔr̝a ː k]? pronunciation [1](info / explanation) (Nelahozeves, near Kralupy nad VltavouBohemia8 september 1841 – Prague,may 1, 1904) was a Czech composerconductormusic educator, (alt)violinist and organist.

Dvořák is with Bedřich Smetana and Leoš Janáček counted among the greatest composers of his country.


[hide]*1 origin and youth

Origins and youth[Edit]Edit

Dvořák's father František Dvořák had a restaurant and a butcher's shop, which he had inherited from his father. His mother Anna Zděnková was a daughter of a steward.Their marriage was celebrated on 17 november 1840; Antonín was the first of nine children.

At the age of six he went on school in Nelahozeves and his teacher gave him the first violin lessons. In 1853 he moved to Zlonice to learn German, because this language was in Bohemia, then part of Austria , that was important. At Antonín Liehmann, the conductor of the church choir in Zlonice, he received piano and taught the organ. He played in the small Orchestra of his teacher and began composing.

In the autumn of 1856 Dvořák went to Česká Kamenice, improved his knowledge of the German language and studied with František Hancke. From October 1857 he went on the German-language Prague organ school and he followed general public education. He was violist in the Orchestra of the Caecilia Association, which provided a occur twice a year.

Professional Musician[Edit]Edit

[2]Dvořák's birthplace in Nelahozeves

Because he could get no job as organist, he worked from the summer of 1859 as violist in the Orchestra of Karl Komzák, that in cafes, on market places and in kiosks overtures, dances and played potpourri's. During the 11 years he played in the Orchestra, he gained further experience as an autodidact in composition, without any work published. Initially he concentrated on composing on the String Quartet; in total he would eventually leave a body of work of 14 string quartets .

From 1862 Komzák orchestra played in the new Prague Interim Theatre; gradually it went on in the opera Orchestra. The Interim theatre was – until the construction of theNational Theatre (Czech: Národní Divadlo) – the first and only Theatre devoted to the national in his repertoire tinted Czech opera and theatre. Played an important roleBedřich Smetana, whose operas the Brandenburg in Bohemia and the bartered bride went in Premiere in 1866.

From 1865 gave Dvořák in addition to his work at the theater for the money also piano lessons. Two notable students were the sisters Josefina and Anna Čermáková.Dvořák fell in love with the then sixteen-year-old Josefina, a romantic love that unhappy ended: he married the younger Anna eight years later on 17 november 1873.

In the meantime he had also two symphonies and quartets the Concerto in A major for cello and piano was composed, orchestrated by Dvořák later that not (it should not be confused with the better known work opus 104). In 1870 he had his first opera Alfred written on a German libretto by Karl Theodor Körner, but which was not performed during his lifetime. In 1871, the opera Král a uhlíř (the King and the charcoal-burner) on a Czech libretto by Bernhard j. Lobeský premiere. That meant no breakthrough work at the public. The new rehearsals started in 1873 was soon broken off, because the work as to virtuoso gold and the vocal parts were considered as not singable. Dvořák left his opera and rewrote the so-called Neudeutsche style. The work was carried out successfully in november 1874.

In order to have more time for composing, he stopped as violist in the opera Orchestra.

From 1871 to 1873 were performed songs and chamber music. When he for his hymn That Erben des Weißen Berges for chorus and Orchestra, op. 30, for the first time a Czech-national story took as a starting point, meant that for him an outright breakthrough to the general public.

International breakthrough[Edit]Edit

Starting from 1874 gave Dvořák to a private music school music lessons and he took a job in February as an organist in the Church of Saint Adalbert, which he exercised until February 1877. In 1874, he served at the "Austrian Commission for the art", where also the well-known music critic Eduard Hanslick , was a request for a member of stipend for talented, young artists have published work without power, which already own.Johannes Brahms was the same year his intercession for a follow-up stipend for the simple Moravian Duets. Brahms also did a good word at the music Publisher Fritz Simrock for the publication of these duets.Compositional Dvořák was now somewhat on Brahms oriented, to recognize what is in the Slavonic Dances, op. 46, the 6th Symphony and the String Quartet C major, op. 61. From 1878 got both composers became friends dearly.

Music and politics[Edit]Edit

The popular-optimistic tinted Dvořák's Slavonic period ran from the Slavonic Dances, op. 46 (1878) to the Sixth Symphony, op. 60, but mainly around 1880 for political reasons was terminated. The new Government ofEduard von Taaffe joined in August 1879 and began in 1880 a language reform that repelled the German language. This had in Austria and Germany causes an anti-Czech vote came up, which is also for a number of performances of works by Dvořák had consequences. In the German-language works, which were abroad as Czech or Slavic were described, no longer gladly played. Dvořák's works were serious and pathetic by nature, and the folkloric element.


The first performance of the Slavonic Dances in England took place on 15 February 1879 in London's Crystal Palace. He wrote the 7th Symphony for London (1885), but mostly his vocal music was received enthusiastically by the English public, the first time in the spring of 1883 with the Stabat Mater. He also got contracts for oratorio-like work. In 1884 he wrote the Cantata Svatební košile (the spiritual bride), in 1891 for the city of Birmingham and the Requiem for the Leeds Festival in 1885 and 1886 the oratory Svatá Ludmila (the Holy Ludmilla)

New World[Edit]Edit

[3]A statue of Antonín Dvořák in Prague MENU   0: 00 Symphony No. 9 in e minor "from the new world" is the most popular work of Dvořák 's. It was composed in 1893 during his stay in the United States.

From 1892 to 1895, Dvořák interrupted his teacher at the Prague Conservatory (since 1891) and he was Director of the National Conservatory founded by Jeanette Thurber in New York City. In addition to the work at the Conservatory he also found time for the conducting and especially for composing. This gave rise to major "American" work, as the Symphony No. 9 in e minor from the new world, opus 95, the String Quartet F major, op. 96. Symphony No. 9, his most popular work.

Theatrical and choral music[Edit]Edit

Dvořák had a taste for the stage, particularly for the opera. What with the opera Alfred began, continued with the great historical opera Dimitrij (1881/82), for the opening ceremonial of the Czech National Theatre (Czech: Národní Divadlo) composed in Prague, and found its artistic peak in Rusalka (1900), with which he also obtained international success as an opera composer.

In addition to his patriotic anthem Hymnus z básne dedicové bílé hory (the heirs of the White Mountain) , the believer composer's aim is to renew the Catholic church music of his country. Among the most important works include the Stabat Mater, op. 58, the mass in D major, op. 86 and the Requiem, op. 89. In addition, Dvořák composed a Te Deum, op. 103, the oratorio St. Ludmilla, op. 71 as well as secular cantatas.

Antonín Dvořák in Prague died at 62 years of age.



See the list of compositions by Antonín Dvořák for a list of compositions by Dvořák.


See the category: compositions by Dvořák for Dvořák's compositions with a own article.


Dvořák's work was catalogued by Jarmil Burghauser in Antonín Dvořák. Thematic Catalogue. Bibliography. Survey of Life and Work (Bärenreiter Editio Supraphon, Praha 1996). In this catalog gets his ninth Symphony the number B178 (Burghauser 178).

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