If you are joining us this Sunday, one of the pieces you will hear was written by the Bohemian composer, Antonin Dvorak. He was born just north of Prague in 1841 and was the eldest of eight children. Music was a way of life in the Dvorak household and it wasn’t long before Antonin was accompanying his father in the local band and studying instruments like the organ, violin, and piano.
As his talent and notoriety began to grow, he joined the company of some highly respected contemporaries including Johannes Brahms who recommended Dvorak for the job of writing Slavonic Dance pieces for the European music publisher Simrock. These pieces were so well liked, Dvorak ended up becoming a huge European sensation almost overnight! With that, he was invited to New York as the Director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in 1892 where he earned over 25 times more what he was earning in Prague.
It was also in New York that he produced three of his most famous works, the String Quartet No.12, ‘American’, the Cello Concerto in B minor, and the ‘New World’ Symphony. But Dvorak, was not satisfied so he returned to Europe to continue to write. In 1904, Dvorak died from a heart attack and was revered as a national hero.
We are looking forward to having one of his pieces played by the dynamic Syzmanowski String Quartet. They will be playing Quartet in G major, Opus 106 amongst other pieces by Haydn, Szamotuly, and Szymanowski on Sunday, January 19th. We hope to see you there!