- New World Symphony (no.9)- Mvt. 4
- Serenade for Strings, Op 22- Mvt. 2
Contrary to popular legend, Antonín Dvorák was not born in 1841 into poverty. An innkeeper and butcher, his father was of some import in their modest Czech village. Also an amateur musician, his father encouraged his son’s pursuit of a musical career, getting him violin lessons and eventually sending him to the prestigious Prague Organ School. At the age of 18, Antonín emerged as a trained organist and immediately became a working musician in dance bands and theater orchestras. So able was he that young Dvorák was appointed principle violist of the Provisional Theater Orchestra, the world’s first Czech-language theater.
During these early years, Antonín married and began composing “serious” music: chamber pieces, miniatures, a concerto, and an opera. He continued to refine and rewrite his pieces, combining Czech folklore traditions with classical instrumentation. In 1875 he submitted one of these for consideration in a competition where he was awarded a state grant by the Austrian government (he would receive three more over the next decade). Thanks to a fateful meeting with Johannes Brahms, he found an influential music publisher. Soon enough, Dvorák’s music became popular internationally. In 1890, he enjoyed a triumph in Moscow, where Tchaikovsky arranged two concerts of his music.
Two years later, Dvorák accepted the post of artistic director at the National Conservatory of Music in New York, where he earned the princely annual salary of $15000, 25 times what he was making in Prague. So began his “American phase” of composing, among others, the Ninth Symphony, String Quartet #12, and the cantata “The American Flag.” After an economic depression in the mid-1890s, he returned to his homeland, settling in Prague to compose his last works. There he died in May 1904 of an undiagnosed cause after five weeks of illness.
- There is one unused Great Work of Music for this Great Musician in the game files:
- Piano Trio No. 3