Dvořák, Antonín (Leopold)
- Klaus Döge
(b Nelahozeves, nr Kralupy, Sept 8, 1841; d Prague, May 1, 1904). Czech composer. With Smetana, Fibich and Janáček he is regarded as one of the great nationalist Czech composers of the 19th century. Long neglected and dismissed by the German-speaking musical world as a naive Czech musician, he is now considered by both Czech and international musicologists Smetana’s true heir. He earned worldwide admiration and prestige for 19th-century Czech music with his symphonies, chamber music, oratorios, songs and, to a lesser extent, his operas.
Dvořák was born into the unsophisticated cultural and social background of a Czech family. His father, František, was a butcher and innkeeper who played the zither, originally to entertain his guests, in later years professionally. His mother, Anna, came from the family of an estate steward in Uhy. Dvořák was the eldest of their eight children. He received his first musical education in ...