Fritz Simrock (1837–1901)

Owner of a leading Berlin-based music publishing company. The first of Dvořák’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 Dvořák’s main publisher, bringing out over sixty of the composer’s works during his lifetime. A friendly relationship slowly developed between Simrock and Dvořák 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 Dvořák sufficient fees for his work. This was indeed the case with the first works to be published since, back then, Dvořák’s name could not yet guarantee financial profit. However, once Dvořák began to enjoy recognition, his fees gradually increased as well. Surviving correspondence tells us that Dvořák was certainly capable of fighting for his rights. On the other hand, another important publisher, Novello, Ewer & Company, based in London, awarded Dvořák much higher fees.