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Born in 1904
Inducted in 2001
Antonin Dvorák's earliest musical education was provided by the town's schoolmaster. His first instrument was the violin. At 13 years of age, Dvorák moved to Zlonice, where he could learn German and pursue his musical studies. There he was taught violin, viola, piano, organ, and keyboard harmony by Antonin Liehmann, a German teacher and church organist. Dvorák entered the Prague Organ School in 1857, graduating with second prize in 1859. His first professional position was playing viola with a small band, which became the new Provisional Theatre orchestra in 1862. Dvorák served as principal violist for nine years. After 1866 the orchestra was conducted by Bed Rich Svetlana. Dvorák also played in the orchestra when Wagner conducted a program of his own music. In 1874, the same year that Smetana conducted Dvorák's Symphony No.3, Dvorák entered 15 compositions in the Austrian State Stipendium, a competition with the purpose of the awarding money to poor and talented artists. He received the award in that year and again in 1876 and 1877, and at the same time, attracted the interest of Johannes Brahms, who was one of the judges. Brahms subsequently recommended Dvorák to his publishing company, which published Dvorák's Moravian Dances and Slavonic Dances in 1878. As more of his works were published, they were performed with increasing frequency around the world. During the next eight years Dvorák's popularity grew as he conducted many of his works in Prague, in England, and even in Russia, which he was invited to visit by Tchaikovsky. Dvorák became a professor of composition at the Prague Conservatory in 1891. He was elected to the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts, and in 1891, received honorary doctoral degrees from Charles University in Prague and from Cambridge University.
Performer: Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell (conductor)
Courtesy Of: Sony Classical