Simrock, Fritz (1837 - 1901)

Owner of a leading Berlin-based music publishing company. The first of Dvorak’s works to be published by Simrock on the recommendation of Brahms were a selection of Moravian Duets and the first series of Slavonic Dances. Simrock gradually became Dvorak’s main publisher, bringing out over sixty of the composer’s works during his lifetime. A friendly relationship slowly developed between Simrock and Dvorak which, despite the occasional disagreement (and one major crisis) over fees and similar issues, lasted until Simrock’s death in 1901. Simrock was believed by some to have not paid Dvorak sufficient fees for his work. This was indeed the case with the first works to be published since, back then, Dvorak’s name could not yet guarantee financial profit. However, once Dvorak began to enjoy recognition, his fees gradually increased as well. Surviving correspondence tells us that Dvorak was certainly capable of fighting for his rights. On the other hand, another important publisher, Novello, Ewer & Company, based in London, awarded Dvorak much higher fees. For the sake of comparison, while the London publisher paid Dvorak an amount corresponding to 11,700 German marks for his Saint Ludmila or Requiem, Simrock gave Dvorak a mere 2,000 marks for his New World Symphony.