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Important dates in the life of Antonin Dvorak

1841
 

8. 9. born in Nelahozeves
9. 9. christened

 

1842
 

6. 7. fire breaks out in the family home, Dvorak carried out of the house to safety by his father

 

1847
  

1. 10. starts primary school in Nelahozeves, studies singing and the violin with Josef Spitz, later plays in the village band and in church

 

1853
 

July – leaves primary school, begins as a butcher’s apprentice under the supervision of his father
October (?) – moves to Zlonice, takes classes with Liehmann

  

1855
  

August – parents move to Zlonice

  

1856
 

starts school in Ceska Kamenice, where he continues his music education under Franz Hanke

 

1857
  

31. 7. receives leaving certificate from the school in Ceska Kamenice
September – moves to Prague, lives at 238 Dominikanska (now Husova) street with the family of his cousin Marie Plivova, attends organ school
1. 10. begins his studies at the “Pfarrhauptschule” affiliated to the church of Our Lady of the Snows, meets Karel Bendl
15. 11. first appearance as a violist at a concert organised by the Cecilian Association

 

1858
  

28. 8. receives leaving certificate from the school affiliated to the church of Our Lady of the Snows
September – starts his second year at the organ school

 

1859
  

30. 7. graduation concert at the organ school
September (?) – joins the Komzak Ensemble
29. 11. applies for the position of organist at St Henry’s church

 

1860
  

? moves to 558 Karlovo namesti to stay with his uncle Vaclav Dusek
March – application for the position of organist at St Henry’s denied

 

1862
  

March – presents himself for recruitment for the first time; is exempt from military service
18. 11. joins the Provisional Theatre Orchestra as a viola player

 

1863
  

again excused from military service
8. 2. concert in Prague featuring works by Richard Wagner, conducted by the composer (Dvorak’s attendance cannot be verified)
11. 7. tour to Hamburg with the Komzak Ensemble

 

1864
 

definitively exempted from military service
finds lodgings at 982 Senovazne namesti
begins as a piano teacher for the Cermak familyh

 

1866
  

5. 1. participates in the premiere of Smetana’s opera The Brandenburgers in Bohemia, conducted by the composer
30. 5. participates in the premiere of Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride, conducted by the composer

  

1868
  

16. 5. ceremonial laying of the foundation stone of the National Theatre – Dvorak takes part in the gala premiere of Smetana’s Dalibor, conducted by the composer

  

1871
  

leaves the Provisional Theatre Orchestra
10. 12. first known public performance of an independent work (the song “Remembrance”)

  

1872
  

17. 10. is a co-signatory of an open letter in Smetana’s defence
22. 11. first performance of Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 5

  

1873
 

? begins as a music teacher for the family of Jan Neff ?
7. 3.
first printed edition of a work by Dvorak (“The Lark” from Songs on the Words of the Dvur Kralove Manuscript)
9. 3. first performance of the Hymn “The Heirs of the White Mountain”, Op. 30 – Dvorak’s first major success as a composer
17. 11. marries Anna Cermakova, moves to the Cermak family residence at 1413 Na Florenci street
last four months of the year – self-critical assessment of works written thus far, he destroys a number of manuscripts

  

1874
 

15. 2. assumes the post of organist at St Adalbert’s church
30. 3. first performance of Symphony No. 3, conducted by Bedrich Smetana
February (?) March (?) – Dvorak and his wife move into their own flat at 14 Na Rybnicku street
4. 4. birth of son Otakar
30. 7. first application for a state scholarship
autumn (?) – befriends Leos Janacek

  

1875
  

? begins as a music teacher for the family of Jan Neff ?
8. 1. is awarded a state scholarship of 400 gulden for the first time
March – short study trip to Vienna
12. 3. elected to the committee of the Association of Czech Dramatists and Composers
19. 8. birth of daughter Josefa
21. 8. daughter Josefa dies
August – second application for a state scholarship
December – makes the acquaintance of leader of the Florentine Quartet Jean Becker

  

1876
  

February – awarded a prize from the artists’ association Umelecka beseda for his String Quintet in G major, Op. 77
5. 3. is awarded his second state scholarship of 400 gulden
17. 4. premiere of the opera Vanda at the Provisional Theatre
30. 7. third application for a state scholarship
18. 9. birth of daughter Ruzena
10. 12. premiere in Prague of Serenade in E major, Op. 22
30. 12. applies for a place at a teaching institute
31. 12. is awarded a third state scholarship of 500 gulden

 

1877
 

15. 2. leaves his post as organist at St Adalbert’s
June – travels round Central Bohemia with Leos Janacek
26. 6. fourth application for a state scholarship
August – application for a place at the teaching institute denied
13. 8. daughter Ruzena dies
8. 9. son Otakar dies
November (?) – the Dvoraks move to a flat at 10 Zitna street
2. 12. premiere of Symphonic Variations, Op. 78, at Zofin in Prague
December – establishes contact with Johannes Brahms
21. 12. takes part in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem at Zofin in Prague (organ)

  

1878
  

27. 1. premiere of the opera The Cunning Peasant at the Provisional Theatre
24. 3. premiere in Prague of Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33
April – takes part in the first (private) performance of Smetana’s quartet From My Life (viola)
6. 6.
birth of daughter Otilie (later wife of Josef Suk)
August – travels round the Sumava mountains with friends
30. 7. fifth application for a state scholarship
17. 11. Dvorak’s first independent concert (Serenade in D minor, Slavonic Rhapsodies 1 and 2, Three Modern Greek Poems, Two Furiants)
27. 11. elected to the committee of the artists’ association Umelecka beseda
December – travels to Vienna to visit Johannes Brahms and to Brno to visit Leos Janacek

  

1879
  

January – Brahms visits the Dvoraks in Prague
15. 2. London premiere of the Slavonic Dances (selection)
March – is awarded a state scholarship for the fifth time (400 gulden)
25. 3. premiere in Prague of Symphony No. 5 in F major, Op. 76
16. 5. premiere in Prague of Czech Suite, Op. 39
24. 9. premiere in Berlin of the third Slavonic Rhapsody, Op. 45
12. 11. elected chairman of the music division of the artists’ association Umelecka beseda

  

1880
  

13. 1. birth of daughter Anna
11. 2. joint concert in Prague given by Joseph Joachim and Johannes Brahms, both visit the Dvoraks at home
29. 3. independent concert given by Dvorak
24. 4. concert of Dvorak’s works in Hamburg
9. 5. performs his own works at a benefit concert in Tursko to raise money for the construction of the National Theatre
May – the Dvoraks move into a larger flat at 10 Zitna street
23. 12. premiere in Prague of Stabat mater, Op. 58

  

1881
  

4. 2. premiere in Vienna of Gypsy Songs (Gypsy Melodies)
25. 3. premiere in Prague of Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60
July (?) August (?) – excursion with Leos Janacek and his wife to Karlstejn
12. 8. the National Theatre burns down
17. 8. birth of daughter Magdalena
2. 10. premiere in Prague of the opera The Stubborn Lovers

   

1882
 

22. 4. London premiere of Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60
8. 10. premiere in Prague of the opera Dimitrij
19. 10. takes part (organ) in a performance of Mass in D major by Vaclav Emanuel Horak at the gala re-opening of the Czech university as an independent institution
24. 10. Dresden premiere of the opera The Cunning Peasant
November – visits Joseph Joachim in Berlin – rehearsal of the violin concerto
8. 12. appointed honorary member of the artists’ association Umelecka beseda
15. 12. Dvorak’s mother Anna dies in Kladno
17. 12. attends his mother’s funeral

  

1883
  

18. 2. Viennese premiere of Symphony No. 6
7. 3.
birth of son Antonin
10. 3. London premiere of Stabat mater, Op. 58
16. 4. premiere in Prague of Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66
July – Leos Janacek visits the Dvoraks in Vysoka, excursions with Janacek
14. 10. premiere in Prague of Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53
18. 11. premiere in Prague of the Hussite Overture, Op. 67

  

1884
  

March – first trip to England, where he conducts Stabat Mater, Op. 58, the Hussite Overture, Op. 67, Symphony in D major, Op. 60, the second Slavonic Rhapsody, Op. 45, Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66, among others
14. 6. is appointed honorary member of the London Philharmonic Society
24. 6. US premiere of Stabat mater (Pittsburgh)
September – second trip to England (Worcester, where he conducts Stabat mater, Op. 58, and Symphony in D major, Op. 60)
21. 11. conducts the Hussite Overture, Op. 67, and Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33, in Berlin

  

1885
  

7. 2. gala opening of the Rudolfinum (programme included the second Slavonic Rhapsody, Op. 45)
9. 2. birth of son Otakar
28. 3. conducts the premiere of the cantata The Spectre’s Bride, Op. 69
April–May – third trip to England (conducts the premiere of Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70, in London on 22 April)
4. 6. travels to Karlovy Vary, meeting with Fritz Simrock and Eduard Hanslick
6. 6. attends the wedding of Frantisek Ondricek in Prague
August – fourth trip to England (conducts The Spectre’s Bride, Op. 69, in Birmingham)
19. 11. The Cunning Peasant is performed at Vienna’s Hofoper; the opera prompts anti-Czech demonstrations
2. 12. The Spectre’s Bride, Op. 69, is performed in the USA (Milwaukee)

  

1886
  

1. 4. London premiere of Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53
19. 4. Stabat mater performed in Vienna
October–November – fifth trip to England (15 October conducts the premiere of Saint Ludmila, Op. 71, in Leeds; conducts Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60, in Birmingham, and Saint Ludmila in London)
26. 10. The Spectre’s Bride, Op. 69, is performed in Melbourne

  

1887
  

6. 1. conducts the premiere of the orchestral version of the second series of Slavonic Dances (selection) in Prague
16. 1. Viennese premiere of Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70
25. 2. conducts the Prague premiere of Saint Ludmila, Op. 71
3. 5. conducts a performance of Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53, in Vienna
12. 5. takes part in an act of remembrance at the grave of Bedrich Smetana at Vysehrad
16. 5. London premiere of Symphonic Variations, Op. 78
11. 9. conducts the private premiere of Mass in D major in Luzany on the occasion of the consecration of the castle chapel
December – visits Johannes Brahms in Vienna

  

1888

6. 1. premiere in Prague of Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81
15. 2. Tchaikovsky is invited to the Dvoraks’ home during his visit to Prague
26. 3. Stabat mater, Op. 58, performed in Zagreb
28. 3. conducts Stabat mater, Op. 58, in Budapest
4. 4. birth of daughter Aloisie
9. 4. Stabat mater, Op. 58, performed in the USA (Troy)
28. 8. Stabat mater, Op. 58, performed in Birmingham
1. 11. Symphony No. 5 in F major, Op. 76, performed in Manchester
27. 11. Tchaikovsky visits Prague for a second time

  

1889
  

January – receives his first offer to take up the post of composition professor at the Prague Conservatoire
12. 2. premiere of the opera The Jacobin at the National Theatre in Prague
13. 3. conducts Symphony No. 5 in F major, Op. 76, Nocturne, Op. 40, and the third Slavonic Rhapsody, Op. 45, in Dresden
June – receives the Order of the Iron Crown
13. 9. turns down the post of professor at the Prague Conservatoire
27. 10. Berlin premiere of Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70
9. 12. audience with Emperor Franz Joseph I in Vienna; meets Johannes Brahms
12. 12. delegation representing various Prague cultural circles comes to congratulate the composer

  

1890
  

2. 2. conducts the premiere of Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, in Prague
February–March – concert tour in Russia (11 March conducts a concert in Moscow featuring Symphony No. 5 in F major, Op. 76, Adagio from Op. 44, Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66, the first Slavonic Rhapsody, Op. 45 and Symphonic Variations, Op. 78; on 22 March conducts a concert in St Petersburg: Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60, and Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66)
23. 3. Stabat mater, Op. 58, performed in Moscow
April – elected a member of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts; sixth trip to England (conducts Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, in London)
October – accepts another offer to take up the post of professor at the Prague Conservatoire

  

1891
  

January – assumes the professorial post at the Prague Conservatoire
17. 3. receives an honorary degree from Prague’s university
13. 5. the Rudolfinum hosts the first public concert of works by Dvorak’s composition pupils
6. 6. receives his first offer to take up the post of director of the New York National Conservatory of Music
June – seventh trip to England where he receives an honorary degree from Cambridge University on 16 June and conducts his Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, and Stabat mater, Op. 58, in the university town
8. 9. celebrations in Prague to mark Dvorak’s 50th birthday (the composer was not in attendance, he was in Vysoka at the time)
October – eighth trip to England (conducts the premiere of his Requiem, Op. 89, in Birmingham on 9 October); signs a contract with the National Conservatory of Music in New York

  

1892
  

January–May – extended “farewell” concert tour of Bohemia and Moravia before his departure for the USA (series of 40 concerts)
15. – 27. 9. journey to New York
1. 10. officially welcomed at the New York Conservatory
9. 10. concert and banquet in Dvorak’s honour (Czech Club in New York)
21. 10. conducts his first concert in the USA (Te Deum, Op. 103, In Nature’s Realm, Op. 91, Carnival, Op. 92, and Othello, Op. 93)
17. 11. conducts Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60, in New York
29 and 30. 11. conducts Requiem, Op. 89, in Boston

  

1893
 

12. 4. elected a full member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences
8. 5. concert of works by Dvorak’s composition pupils in New York
31. 5. Dvorak’s children arrive in New York
3 – 5. 6. the family travel to Spillville (Iowa) for the summer holidays
August – visit to the World Fair in Chicago (here he conducts Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, a selection from Slavonic Dances, Op. 72, and the overture My Home, Op. 62, on 12 August during the event “Czech Day”)
1 – 3. 9. visits Omaha
3 – 4. 9. visits St. Paul (excursion to the Minnehaha Falls)
19. 9. visits Buffalo (excursion to the Niagara Falls)
21. 9. begins teaching once again in New York
15. 12. public full rehearsal for Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
16. 12. premiere of Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World” in New York’s Carnegie Hall, conducted by Anton Seidl

  

1894
  

1. 1. premiere of String Quartet in F major, Op. 96, in Boston
12. 1. premiere of String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 97, in New York
23. 1. conducts a concert organised by the National Conservatory of Music featuring African American musicians
28. 3. the composer’s father Frantisek dies in Velvary
19. – 30. 5. leaves for Bohemia for the summer holidays
30. 5. ceremonial welcome at the train station and on the streets of Prague
1. 6. founding of the informal “Mahulik” table society under Dvorak’s patronage
4. 6. travels to Vysoka, procession lit with Chinese lanterns in Dvorak’s honour
21. 6. New World Symphony performed in Europe for the first time (London)
20. 7.
New World Symphony performed in Bohemia for the first time (Karlovy Vary)
8. 9. consecration of the organ Dvorak donated to the village of Trebsko
13. 10. conducts the Prague premiere of the New World Symphony at the National Theatre
16 – 26. 10. travels to New York
October – is appointed honorary member of the Philharmonic Society in New York
1. 11. begins work at the New York Conservatory once more

  

1895
  

16. 2. is appointed honorary member of the Society of the Friends of Music (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde) in Vienna
16 – 27. 4. returns to Bohemia for good
4. 5. premiere of the cantata The American Flag, Op. 102, in New York
27. 5. Josefina Kounicova dies
29. 5. attends the funeral of Josefina Kounicova
30. 5. meets Fritz Simrock and Eduard Hanslick in Karlovy Vary
1. 11. takes up his post at the Prague Conservatoire once again

  

1896
  

4. 1. conducts the inaugural concert of the Czech Philharmonic (Biblical Songs, Op. 99, the third Slavonic Rhapsody, Op. 45, Othello, Op. 93, and Symphony No. 9, Op. 95)
16. 2. Viennese premiere of the New World Symphony
March – ninth and last trip to England (19 March conducts the premiere of Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104, in London)
11. 4. conducts the Prague premiere of Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104
3. 6. premiere in Prague of the symphonic poems The Water Goblin, Op. 107, The Noon Witch, Op. 108, and The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109
9. 7. graduation concert of works by Dvorak’s composition pupils
9. 10. premiere in Prague of String Quartet in G major, Op. 106

  

1897
  

21. 1. premiere in Prague of String Quartet in A flat major, Op. 105
March – travels to Vienna to visit Brahms who is terminally ill
3. 4. Johannes Brahms dies
6. 4. attends Brahms’s funeral
June – the New York Conservatory again offers Dvorak the post of director, however, the composer turns it down
23. 9. attends the funeral of Karel Bendl
November – is appointed member of the jury for the state scholarship award

  

1898
  

20. 3. premiere in Brno of the symphonic poem The Wild Dove, Op. 110, conducted by Leos Janacek
19. 6. premiere in Prague of the revised version of The Jacobin
17. 11. Dvorak’s daughter Otilie marries composer Josef Suk
25. 11. receives the honorary insignia “Litteris et artibus” from the emperor
4. 12. premiere in Vienna of A Hero’s Song, Op. 111, conducted by Gustav Mahler

  

1899
  

28. 1. Prague premiere of A Hero’s Song, Op. 111
23. 11. premiere in Prague of the opera The Devil and Kate, Op. 112
19. 12. takes part (piano) in a concert of his own chamber works in Budapest
20. 12. conducts A Hero’s Song, Op. 111, Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104, and Carnival, Op. 92, in Budapest

 

1900
  

4. 4. conducts a Czech Philharmonic concert in Prague (The Wild Dove, Op. 110, and Brahms’s Tragic Overture, Schubert’s Symphony in B minor and Beethoven’s Symphony No.8)
29. 5. conducts Festival Song, Op. 113, at a gala evening held by the Prague Conservatoire
17. 10. attends the funeral of Zdenek Fibich

  

1901
 

January – has his portrait painted by Max Svabinsky
31. 3. premiere in Prague of Rusalka, Op. 114
April – appointed member of the Upper House in Austria
14. 5. Dvorak attends proceedings in the Upper House in Vienna for the first and last time
6. 7. elected director of the Prague Conservatoire
6. 9. visits Gustav Mahler in Vienna (Dvorak brings the score for Rusalka with him, discussions regarding its performance in Vienna)
21. 9. opens the first conference organised by teachers at the Conservatoire
8. 9. celebrations to mark Dvorak’s 60th birthday in Nelahozeves and Prague (Dvorak was not present at the celebrations); the National Theatre launches a series of nine evening performances featuring the composer’s works
10. 11. special gathering at the National Museum held in Dvorak’s honour with a speech by Karel Knittl; concert (Hussite Overture, Symphony No. 9, The Noon Witch, Cello Concerto, Carnival), gala dinner organised by the artists’ association Umelecka beseda
11. 11. gala evening at the National Theatre – performance of Saint Ludmila
19. 12. birth of grandson Josef Suk

  

1902
  

March – begins work on his last opus, the opera Armida
3. 4. – attends the funeral of Zdenka Hlavkova in Luzany
12. 7. Dvorak’s composition pupils take their final examinations

 

1903
  

25. 3. meets Edvard Grieg who has come to Prague to conduct some of his own works
20. 10. daughter Anna marries Dr Josef Sobotka
25. 10. attends the funeral of his friend Antonin Rus
November – rehearsals for Armida begin at the National Theatre
14. 12. his mother-in-law Klotilda Cermakova dies
27. 12. attends the Plzen premiere of The Devil and Kate
29. 12. attends the funeral of conductor Adolf Cech

  

1904
  

1. 3. full rehearsal for Armida does not go well and is discontinued
25. 3. premiere in Prague of Armida, Op. 115, Dvorak is taken ill and leaves the theatre before the end
26. 3. Dvorak’s physician prescribes home treatment and peace and quiet
30. 3. takes a walk around Vinohrady train station and catches a chill
31. 3. takes to his bed once again
3. 4. a music festival primarily featuring works by Dvorak is held without his participation
18. 4. the patient’s state of health worsens with the onset of influenza
1. 5. the composer dies shortly after midday

► Antonin Dvorak’s death and funeral