Antonin Dvorak- A “New World” to explore



“The music of the people is like a rare and lovely flower growing amidst encroaching weeds. Thousands pass it, while others trample it under foot, and thus the chances are that it will perish before it is seen by the one discriminating spirit who will prize it above all else. The fact that no one has as yet arisen to make the most of it does not prove that nothing is there.”

~ Antonin Dvořák




For my grade 9 notable I have chosen Antonin Dvořák. Antonin Leopold Dvořák was born in Nelahovehez a town near Prague, Czechia. Son to Frantisek and Anna. Frantisek was a butcher and a zither which is where Dvorak’s music ability comes form. This person comes highly recommended from my piano teacher because he is one of the most celebrated Czech composers ever as well as underappreciated in the music realm.



Antonin Dvořák




Male Male
Czech- Czech background Canadian- Asian/Dutch Background
Played many instruments including organ and violin Play piano and percussion
Love of classical music Love of classical music
First child of nine Only child
Harsher upbringing Privileged upbringing
Interested in trains and transportation Not as interested in trains and transportation
Agoraphobic Not agoraphobic
Smoked, “if you don’t smoke you won’t be a composer”. Don’t smoke


Dvořák was an extremely creative person, writing 300 or more works, and whose bravery and meticulousness inspire me to be.  I also believe I share his musical ability to some degree but wish to enhance it further. Furthermore, I hope to have a more creative eye and possibly even start creating my own compositions. As well, I hope to do what Dvořák did and bridge some sort of gap between two different styles or places in whatever I do.  On the other hand, Antonin was a very wise and caring person noted to help teach a number of different students including many of colour.  Lastly, he had a great deal of perseverance which I see some of in myself but wish to increase that even more.  One thing I hope I don’t learn from him though is his Agoraphobia.

I believe that I won’t have much of a problem connecting to my Eminent person since we are similar in many regards.  As shown in the table above we are both males of the Christian faith though Dvořák was Roman Catholic and I’m Presbyterian.  We are of slightly different classes but that shouldn’t matter much.  Geography is a problem however, with Dvořák being from the Czech region and me being from Canada is difficult but if I research the area somewhat, I don’t think it will pose an insurmountable problem.

The field of music has been altered in barely noticeable but still enormous ways because of Dvořák.  Some of those include his famous Slavonic dances, Cello Concerto in b minor, and most of all his “New World Symphony”.  These pieces will be remembered and used as both teaching and entertainment pieces for many, many years to come.  His influence and guidance also inspired Czech and African American composers alike to show the world what their respective cultures music could add to the world.  However, this road to eminence was not entirely straight forward.  During his time in Europe he rose slowly into the light after many years of practice and help from Johannes Brahms, who I am doing my speech from the point of view of.  This was pretty trouble-free until which time he ventured to the “New World”.  At this point in time he was faced with lots of new things and new people who he eventually befriended and was even director of the National Conservatory of Music for some time.  Through all this time he wanted to spread the “music of the people” throughout the world and to show others that you can connect old with new, thus bringing a new style of music to the light.  He feared that these melodies would be thrown away like they were for so long before. Eventually, he learned that not only did people like the new style of music but loved it, his Slavonic Dances (folk music) sheet music sold out in only a day. On a lighter note Dvořák once said, “I would give all my symphonies if I invented the locomotive”, which I think is pretty funny.

Fun fact: Dvořák’s “New World Symphony” was played during the first walk on the moon.


Edit: Going forward in this project I hope to advance my musical career and whole life in general by the things Dvorak can teach me. I am very hopeful to see exactly what I can learn about and from this person.



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