Antonin Dvořák, classical music composer

Antonin Dvořák

Biography

In a small Bohemian village outside off Prague, Antonín Dvořák was born on September 8, 1841. The son of a Roman Catholic innkeeper, Dvořák displayed an early interest in music. At the age of 6, he received his first music lessons from the village school. Later, he studied in Prague and became an accomplished performer on both the violin and viola.

Though he composed his first string quartet at the age of 20, much of Dvořák's early career centered on performing. Throughout the 1860s, he was a violist in the Bohemian Provisional Theater Orchestra, which beginning in 1866 was lead by his famous countryman Bedřich Smetana. After performing with the group for over a decade, Dvořák secured a more stable position as organist at St. Adalbert's Church in Prague. This new position not only gave him better financial security but also much more time for composition. With his focus now on composition, Dvořák ultimately drew the attention of Vienna's leading composer, Johannes Brahms. Dvořák admired Brahms's music greatly and the two soon became friends. With Brahms's help, several of Dvořák's compositions were published to immediate success. Much like Schumann had done for Brahms's some decades earlier, Brahms's endorsement had set Dvořák on the path of success. Following the successful performance of Dvořák's Stabat Mater in London, he was invited to England and composed his Symphony No. 7 for a premiere in London. In 1890, he visited Russia, conducting orchestras in both Moscow and St. Petersburg. The following year he received an honorary degree from the University of Cambridge and a position as professor of composition at Prague University.

Highest on his list of achievements, however, is the three years (1892-95) he served director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. Founded in 1885 by a wealthy socialite, Dvořák's purpose was to discover and establish "American music." Though he wrote a series of newspaper articles supporting the concept of an American tradition of music founded in African-American and Native American music, his profoundest statements are the two works written with this goal in mind—the Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" and the "American" Quartet, both influenced by the spirituals he heard while in America. However, a dispute over a pay and growing homesickness prompted Dvořák to return home to his native Bohemia before the conclusion of the spring semester in 1895.

During his final years, Dvořák concentrated on the composition of opera and chamber music. He made his final trip to London in 1896 for the premiere of his Cello Concerto in B minor and in 1901 he became director of the Conservatory in Prague. A few years later, on May 1, 1904, he died of heart failure.


Composer Title Date Action
Antonin Dvořák String Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 97 03/31/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Slavonic Dance in A-Flat Major, Op. 46 No. 3 01/09/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Sonatina in G Major, Mvt. 4 12/02/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Give ear, O God, unto my Prayer, from Biblical Songs 03/01/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák God, the Lord, my Shepherd is, from Biblical Songs 03/01/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Lord, A New Song I would Fashion, from Biblical Songs 03/01/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Humoresque 04/08/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Never will Love leads us, from Love songs 03/01/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák When Thy Sweet Glances on me Fall, from Love songs 03/01/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Death reigns in many a human breast, from Love songs 03/01/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonín Dvořák Rondo for cello and piano Op 94 09/28/2010 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Notturno for String Orchestra 05/20/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81 06/19/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Romance in f minor, Op. 11 05/07/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Romance in f minor, Op. 11 03/08/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Song to the Moon, from Rusalka 01/29/2010 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Cello Concerto, Adagio ma non troppo 01/12/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Silent Woods, Op. 68, No. 5 01/09/2009 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Polonaise for Cello and Piano, in A Major B. 94 10/03/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák My song of love, from Gypsy melodies, Op. 55 11/07/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák How wondrously my triangle sounds, from Gypsy melodies, Op. 55 11/07/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák All around about the woods are still, from Gypsy melodies, Op. 55 11/07/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Songs my mother taught me, from Gypsy melodies, Op. 55 11/07/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Tune thy strings, from Gypsy melodies, Op. 55 11/07/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Wide sleeves, from Gypsy melodies, Op. 55 11/07/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Give a hawk a fine cage, from Gypsy melodies, Op. 55 11/07/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Piano Trio in F Minor, Op. 65 11/23/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 87 11/17/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Silent Woods, Op. 68, No. 5 01/17/2012 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81 02/03/2012 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Song to the Moon, from Rusalka 03/21/2012 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Poetic Tone Pictures Op. 85, I - Twilight Way 12/05/2012 Play
Antonin Dvořák Humoresque 09/12/2013 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Symphonic Variations, Op. 78 09/15/2013 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák String Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 97 12/03/2013 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90 ("Dumky") 12/23/2013 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Piano Trio No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90 ("Dumky"), Finale 10/01/2010 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Allegro moderato, from Four Romantic Pieces, Op.75 07/21/2014 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Allegro maestoso, from Four Romantic Pieces, Op.75 07/21/2014 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Allegro appassionato, from Four Romantic Pieces, Op.75 07/21/2014 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Larghetto, from Four Romantic Pieces, Op.75 07/21/2014 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Four Romantic Pieces, Op.75 07/21/2014 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81 09/09/2014 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 87 09/05/2011 Play Add to playlist
Antonin Dvořák String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96, B. 179, "American" 10/15/2014 Play Add to playlist