Born in Nelahozeves near Prague to a village innkeeper and butcher, Antonín Dvořák defied following in his father’s footsteps and went on to pursue a career in music. Thanks to the influence of his teacher, Antonín Liehmann, he became an accomplished violinist, organist, and violist, playing viola for the Czech National Theater Orchestra. Dvořák also struggled to become a recognized composer. Through his trials and will to succeed, Dvořák became friends with celebrated composer Johannes Brahms, who greatly influenced him and also connected him with his own publisher. Dvořák’s compositions became a sensation. Among them were his most memorable pieces, the Slavonic Dances, which incorporated the rhythms of Slavic folk dances, demonstrating Dvořák’s passion about his Czech homeland and reflecting his heritage and humble origins. His most renowned works include the New World Symphony, the “American” String Quartet, and the Cello Concerto in B minor. He also composed operas, symphonic, choral, and chamber music.
Enjoy a U.S. premiere of the Homage to Dvořák composed by Miroslav Srnka and performed by the Fama Quartet as a part of the Leading European Composers’ program at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2011.