Karel Komzák (1823–1893)

Bandmaster, conductor and composer. He established his own dance orchestra, the Komzák Ensemble, in Prague in 1854 and the musicians were invited to play at musical soirees and balls held on Střelecký Island, Žofín and elsewhere. Eighteen-year-old Dvořák joined the Komzák Ensemble as a viola player in 1859 after graduating from the organ school. Three years later the entire Komzák Ensemble was engaged as the core of the opera orchestra at the Provisional Theatre which had just opened. Komzák is said to have remembered his violist with fondness, stating that “The good Lord certainly made sure that Mr Dvořák received more than his fair share of talent”.