On September 8, 2011, over 70 people gathered at the statue of Antonín Dvořák in Stuyvesant Square in New York City to lay flowers at his statue and pay tribute to the 170th anniversary of the birth of the composer. The event also launched the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2011-Antonín Dvořák, highlighting the mutual inspirations between Czech and American cultures. On this occasion, the Copland Brass Quintet presented the world premiere of composer/author Maurice Peress' arrangement of Dvořák's Largo from the New World Symphony and other works. Click here to view pictures from the event.
The ceremony, organized in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic, the Czech Center in New York, and the Dvořák American Heritage Association (DAHA), paid homage to the legendary composer through a flower laying ceremony, inspirational speeches about the composer and his American sojourn, as well as a concert in the Square.
Featured speakers at the event included: Pavla Niklová, Head of the Czech Center in New York; Eliška Žigová, Consul General of the Czech Republic in New York; Barbara Karpetová, Head of the Cultural Section of the Embassy of the Czech Republic; and Susan Lucak, President of the Dvořák American Heritage Association (DAHA). The event concluded with a concert of the Copland Brass Quintet performing selections of Dvořák's famous Slavonic Dances and the world premiere of Maurice Peress' arrangement of Dvořák's Largo from the New World Symphony.
Following the event at the statue, guests were invited to Bohemian National Hall in New York. Composer and professor Maurice Peress read an excerpt from his new book Dvořák to Duke Ellington: A Conductor Explores America's Music and Its African American Roots at the event.