Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)

Dvořák is regarded as one of the great nationalist composers of the 19th century.

In 1857 Dvořák began to study at the Prague Organ School, his subjects included harmony, continuo, the playing of chorales and fugue. While he was employed as principal violist at the Czech theatre in Prague, he was privately composing String Quartets and the first two symphonies. In his early period as a composer he tried to bring his musical language close to the standards of Mozart and Beethoven.The occasion that established Dvořák among the leading composers in Prague of its day, was the performance of his cantata Hymnus Dedicové bílé hory. In 1874 he applied for the Austrian State Stipendium granted to artists. Brahms, a member of the jury, was enthusiastic about the compositions arranged the publication of his works. From now Dvoráks international reputation stood very high. 1883 he was invited to London to conduct performances of his works beneath the Stabat mater and the Slavonic Dances. During his stay in the United States, his music was influenced by American folk tunes.