Sunday, January 18, 2015

Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Leopold Dvořák is one of the best known Czech composers.  He was born in Bohemia in 1841, when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and died in 1904.

Dvořák's musical gifts were apparent at an early age.  He was known for incorporating Czech folk music from Bohemia and Moravia in 19th century classical music.  He was the first Czech composer to achieve worldwide attention.  In 1892 he served as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York before returning to Bohemia in 1895.  

Dvořák wrote 10 operas, 9 symphonies and numerous pieces of chamber music.  His best known opera is probably Rusalka.  However, my favorite piece is his Slavonic Dance #2.  Here's a clip I found on YouTube of it performed by London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

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