Composer of the Week: Antonín Dvořák
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (pronounced “Ant-tone-in Da-vor-jack”) was a Czech composer who lived from 1841-1904. He displayed great talent an early age, though was not considered a child prodigy. At age 20, he graduated from a music school in Prague (in what is now called The Czech Republic) after studying Organ performance. He played in orchestras (he also played Viola) and taught piano lessons for much of his early career.
Dvořák was well known for his symphonies, particularly his ninth: Symphony for the New World. He also wrote operas, concertos, string quartets and songs. In 1892, he moved to the United States to become director of the National Conservatory of Music of America, located in New York City.
Dvořák became very successful in his time and was known throughout the world during his career. Among his best known pieces are his Symphony for the New World, Slavonic Dances, Hungarian Dances, Symphonic Variations, Cello Concerto in B minor and Russalka. He was influenced by fellow composers Peter Tchaikovsky and Johannes Brahms. He died of a stroke in 1904, leaving many unfinished pieces behind him.
Map of Czech Republic (today)
Map of Austrian-Hungarian Empire, 1904