Five Minute Mozart ©

Composer Biography - Antonin Dvorak

Run time: 2m 07s  |  Release Date: January 9th, 2018

Antonin Dvorak was born on September 8th, 1841 in Nelahozeves, Czech Republic.

His father was a butcher and wanted Antonin to follow in his footsteps but Dvorak showed musical talents at an early age.

He studied violin and left home at 16 to study at the Prague Organ School.

Soon after he became the principal viola in the orchestra of the Provisional Theatre and began composing different works. By 1874, he had written four symphonies and two operas. Additionally, he began to teach music as well.

Dvorak fell in love with one of his students, Josefina Cermakova, but when she denied his advances, he married her sister Anna. They went on to have six children.

In an effort to further his career, Dvorak entered a music composition competition intended to help careers of undiscovered musicians. He won first prize, and one of the judges was the famous composer Johannes Brahms.  

Brahms was impressed by Dvorak’s work and became somewhat of a mentor to him, recommending him to Brahms’ own music publisher.

Their relationship resulted in the commission of several famous pieces by Dvorak, including his Slavonic Dances, solidifying his place as a world renowned composer.

Upon receiving an invitation to become the director of the National Conservatory of Music, Dvorak and his family moved to New York in 1892. After the move, his work started to show the influence of  American folk music.

Missing his native Prague, Dvorak moved to his home country in 1895 and remained there till his death on May 1st, 1904 at the age of 63.