- Dvořák, Antonín
- (1841–1904)Czech composer of romantic music whose work is usually categorized as a “national” by virtue of its incorporation of folk material - Slavonic dance and song rhythm - into symphonies, symphonic poems, and even chamber music. Dvoˇrák was born in Nelahozeves, Bohemia, and was an apprentice butcher in his father’s shop when his musical gifts diverted him toward formal training in Prague and an early career as a viola player. From 1873 onward, he produced a steady flow of new compositions, won a succession of prizes, and came to the attention of Johannes Brahms, who helped him get his scores published in Berlin. From opera, symphonies, and choral pieces to incidental music and string quartets, Dvoˇrák’s output was impressive. It reveals an authentic genius for the use of strings in any format, unexpected and refreshing harmonies, and an unforced capacity to absorb and adapt the themes of Central European folk traditions.In the mid-1990s, Dvořák taught, performed, and composed in the United States and is possibly best known for his Symphony No.9 “From the New World,” which was influenced by his exposure to American spiritual music. A subject of the Habsburg Empire loyal to his Czech nationality and to the notion of national school of music, Dvoˇrák was nonetheless refreshingly comfortable with the local, the national, and the cosmopolitan.FURTHER READING:Clapham, John. Dvoˇrák. New York: W. W. Norton, 1979.CARL CAVANAGH HODGE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.