image of Dvorak
Antonin Dvorák
1841 to 1904

His life
Like Grieg, Dvorák was a composer who took pride in the folk music of his country, a country outside of the mainstream of classical music in central Europe. Born near Prague (then in Bohemia, now in the Czech Republic), Dvorák's music incorporated this native folk music, and it is therefore considered part of the Nationalist movement.

After attending an organ school in Prague, Dvorák's reputation grew quickly. No doubt he was helped by playing viola in the orchestra conducted by the eminent composer, Smetana, and by his friendship with Johannes Brahms.

Dvorák soon began to get prestigious commissions in England and was able to command a sizeable salary for a position in the United States between 1892 and 1895. During these years he was the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. While there he developed an appreciation for the music of African Americans. While in the US, he wrote string quartets and his most popular work, the Symphony No.9, "From the New World." The second movement's theme is said to have been inspired by American spirituals

Dvorák decided to spend his last years back in Europe in the homeland he loved so much. He was buried in Prague, the city where his eventful career had begun.

You can download this music by Dvorák:
AudioAudio of
Theme from Movement 2 of
Symphony from the New World, arranged for level one
play excerpt of original

Free Piano Music! Composer Biographies