Mořic Anger (1844–1905)

Conductor and violinist. Anger met Antonín Dvořák during his engagement with the Provisional Theatre Orchestra, where he played in the second violin section (1862–1868). He later worked as a conductor in various towns and cities in former Austria-Hungary (including Vienna and Salzburg); from the year 1881 he held the post of second conductor at the National Theatre in Prague. Dvořák and Anger spent a lot of time together during the period 1864–1865, when they shared lodgings. At this time Dvořák was working on his Symphony No. 2 in B flat major and, according to an insufficiently documented story, we apparently have Anger to thank for its survival: he contributed towards the costs of binding the score, and when Dvořák later succumbed to a feverish bout of self-censorship and wanted to destroy the work, Anger demanded that Dvořák pay back his loan. But the composer was unable to do this, so Anger exacted the score from him as compensation, thus the music was saved from destruction. Later on Anger conducted a series of premieres and repeat performances of Dvořák’s works: among others, the premiere of the opera The Stubborn Lovers on 2 October 1881, along with the premieres of all versions of the opera Dimitrij (8 October 1882; 20 November 1883; 7 November 1894); he conducted the premiere of Violin Concerto in A minor with violinist František Ondříček on 14 October 1883, and he conducted the premiere of the Hussite Overture at a gala concert to celebrate the reopening of the National Theatre on 18 November 1883. Anger was also a member of the “Mahulík” table society which – headed by Dvořák – was founded in 1894 after Dvořák’s first return from the United States.