Smetana, Bedřich [Friedrich]
- Marta Ottlová,
- Milan Pospíšil
- and John Tyrrell
(b Litomyšl, March 2, 1824; d Prague, May 12, 1884). Czech composer, conductor and critic. The first Czech nationalist composer and the most important of the new generation of Czech opera composers writing from the 1860s. His eight operas established a canon of Czech operas to serve as models for Czech nationalist opera and have remained in the Czech repertory ever since. Such was the force of his musical personality that his musical style became synonymous with Czech nationalist style, his name a rallying point for the polemics which were to continue in Czech musical life into the next century.
As a master brewer Smetana's father František (Franz) Smetana (1777–1857) was a comparatively rich man with cultural pretentions which included domestic music-making as a member of a string quartet. He initiated his son into the elements of music when he was four. Soon, however, he entrusted him to the care of a tradesman Jan Chmelík (...