Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)

Russian composer and conductor. Dvořák became acquainted with Tchaikovsky in early 1888 during the latter’s visit to Prague, where he performed twice as a conductor. In honour of the Russian guest the artists’ association Umělecká beseda organised a special gathering whose programme included a performance of Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81. The following day Tchaikovsky was invited to the Dvořáks’ home for lunch. The composers gave each other scores of their own works – in Tchaikovsky’s case this was Suite No. 3, in Dvořák’s, Symphony No. 7 in D minor. Tchaikovsky visited Prague again in November and December of that year; his itinerary included a performance conducting the opera Eugene Onegin (the first outside Russia) at the National Theatre. Dvořák was present at the theatre and the work made a profound impression on him. On the invitation of Tchaikovsky, Dvořák travelled to Russia in 1890, where he conducted two concerts of his own works.