Born in Bohemia, Dvorak's career began in Prague where from 1862-73 he was a violist at the Czech national opera. Though he had composed from an early age, his popularity as a composer only arose in 1872 through his Hymnus for mixed chorus and orchestra. He then became able to devote himself to composition, and, being both a hard-worker and a friend of Brahms, it only took a few years for him to gain worldwide fame with his Moravian Duets, the Slavonic Dances and Stabat Mater.
It was during his greatly successful time in the United States that he discovered folk music as a source of national American music - just as his music had previously evoked such Slavic ethnicity, he now relished the prospect of capturing the spirit of America as well. Drawing on Afro-American and Native American music, his work, which was to have a significant influence on American music, resulted most famously in the New World Symphony, along with the (American) Quartet op.96 and the cantata The American Flag.
Works by Antonin Dvorak include:
Symphony No.9 (From the New World) in E minor op.95 (1893)
The Wood Dove (Die Waldtaube) op.110 (1896), symphonic poem
Slavonic Dances op.46 and op.72 for piano duet, arranged for orchestra
Cello Concerto in B minor op.104 (1895)
Bestselling Titles by Antonin Dvorák