Antonín Dvořák’s fascination with his ethnic roots and folk melodies gained him the attention of the founder of National Conservatory of Music in New York City, Jeanette Thurber, who was paving the way to capture and develop an American music style. Offering him handsome pay, Thurber persuaded the Czech composer to become the director of the conservatory for three years, beginning in 1892. Being greatly inspired by the sounds of America, Dvořák left a great legacy through his music and students in the US, before returning to Prague to subsequently direct the Music Conservatory there from 1901 until his death on May 1, 1904. Today, a statue of Antonín Dvořák stands in Stuyvesant Square Park, near where he resided on 327 East 17th Street, thanks to the Dvorak American Heritage Association, in cooperation with the New York Philharmonic and the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association.
Lay flowers and listen to Dvořák’s music in commemoration of the 170th anniversary of his birth at a Memorial Ceremony in Stuyvesant Square Park in New York City on September 8, 2011.