Czech composer Antonin Leopold Dvorak is counted among the most prominent composers of the nineteenth century, who like Bedrich Smetana followed the nationalist example, often employing elements of Moravia folk music with his native Bohemia. His style has been famous for presenting the most complete recreation of the national idiom combined with symphonic tradition and folk influences, which together have been applied in a most compelling manner. Some of his best known works include his American String Quarter, New World Symphony, B Minor Cello Concerto and his opera Rusalka, while some of his smaller famous pieces include the score Songs my mum taught me and the seventh Humoresque.
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The maestro also composed choral music, operas, concerti, a wide range of chamber music and several instrumental, vocal and other orchestral works. He has been hailed as possibly the most versatile composer of his era. His compositions have been regularly performed by some of the leading orchestras in the Western world including the Utah and Boston Symphonies, combined with the like of masters Christoph Eschenbach, Garrick Ohlsson and Igor Stravinsky. Dvorak tickets are a must-have among classical fans who enjoy the finesse and complex blends of nineteenth century’s masterpieces.
Dvorak was a natural musician who began revealing his talents since a very young age. He graduated from a Prague-based organ school, and started working on his initial compositions by the time he was twenty. During the 1860s, he performed as a violinist while also giving piano lessons in Bohemian Provisional Theater Orchestra, and after more than a decade, he moved on from the orchestra to explore his options as a church organist. There he wrote many compositions, attracting the attention of Johannes Brahms, an artist who played a pivotal role in developing his career in support with critic Eduard Hanslick.
In 1880, Dvorak made his first major breakthrough with the premiere of cantata Stabat Mater, which was performed when the artist was visiting the United Kingdom. In fact, he wrote the Seventh Symphony specifically to be played in London. By the following decade, he was in Russia where he conducted a brief stint and gained the position of a professor at Prague Conservatory. He soon moved the U.S. and was appointed as the director of National Conservatory of Music in America in the NYC, where he also continued to write compositions. It was not long before a salary dispute coinciding with his longing to go home brought him back to Bohemia. From 1985 onwards till his death, the composer created many pieces most of which comprised of chamber and operatic music. Upon his death, a body of unfinished works was left behind. His notable students included John Stepan Zamecnik, Josef Suk, Maurice Arnold Strothotte, Harry Rowe Shelly, Vitezslav Novak, Oskar Nedbal, Rubin Goldmark, Williams Arms Fisher, Will Marion Cook and Harry Burleigh.
Dvorak is known to have written in a wide variety of forms among which his nine symphonies are vastly similar to classical models though he also included features of newly developed versions of symphonic poems. Several works by him reveal the heavy influence of genuine Czech folk music in terms of both, melodic shapes and rhythms, among which are a couple of sets of Slavonic Dances such as the Symphonic Variations, as well as an immense variety of songs, though elements of such form are also present in his main choral pieces. The maestro also wrote several operas among which the most prominent if Rusalka; chamber music which includes many quintets and string quartets; piano music; and serenades for wind ensembles and string orchestras.
In America, his career played the leading role since it influenced the development of the American music style which would later be echoed in future generations. His American-inspired works and challenge to American musicians served as an example among several composers, among whom William Grant Still and Amy Beach, really applied his suggestions to try and find their individual style. His native melodies influenced many musicians such as Marian Anderson. Various most renowned orchestras and symphonies in America continue to perform his pieces including Boston and Utah symphonies. So grab some cheap Dvorak tickets and experience these masterpieces as they take full sway.
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