Czech composer, a leading European composer of the 19th century, and the foremost representative of the Czech national school in composition.
Dvorák was born in Nelahozeves, a small Bohemian village near Prague, on September 8, 1841. As a child he learned to play the violin and often entertained guests at his father's inn. He studied (1857-59) at the organ school in Prague, then joined the concert band of Komzák and later the orchestra of the National Theater, Prague. He first received marked public recognition in 1873, when his cantata Hymnus was performed.
From 1892 to 1895, Dvorák was director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. In the U.S. he acquired a great liking for black spirituals and Native American music. Two of his most famous works, the Symphony in E Minor (From the New World) and the Quartet in F, known as the American Quartet, were composed in the U.S. in 1893; although these works do not contain actual themes from black or Native American music, they have melodies that are strongly akin in structure and spirit to these types of music. Dvorák returned to Bohemia in 1895, and in 1901 he became director of the Prague Conservatory.
Dvorák's early works were also influenced by the music of the Austrian composer Franz Schubert and of Ludwig van Beethoven, and throughout his career he was influenced to some extent by the work of the German composer Richard Wagner. Dvorák drew on Czech and Slavonic folk music, and his most mature works reflect his deep national consciousness. Among his pupils were the noted Czech composers Vítčzslav Novák and Josef Suk, Dvorák's son-in-law.
Dvorák's compositions also include nine symphonies (1865-93); music for the piano, including the well-known “Humoresque” (1894); two sets of Slavonic Dances (1878 and 1886) for piano duet (later orchestrated by Dvorák); the operas Vanda (1875), The Jacobin (1887-88), Rusalka (1901), and Armida (1902-3); symphonic poems; chamber music; oratorios, cantatas, and masses; and a violin concerto.
Dvorák died on May 1, 1904, in Prague; the day of his funeral was a day of national mourning throughout Bohemia.
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Dvořák Antonín (životopis)
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