Prague has played host to a huge amount of different composers in its long history. Mozart visited here often, as did Haydn and Tchaikovsky, with the former even naming one of his pieces after the city. It isn’t just visitors to the city who have put Prague on the classical map though, as there are a number of composers to have been born in the country, with the most famous of these being the world renowned Dvorak. Also born here were Smetana, Martinu and Janacek, all of whom are enjoyed throughout the world to this day. Dvorak and Smetana even have museums dedicated to them within the city and they are a must visit for any fan of classical music.
Classical music is incredibly popular in Prague and many of the citizens embrace it with a passion only reserved for pop music in other countries. Perhaps the most famous demonstration of this love for the music is the Prague Spring Music Festival, which celebrates the bet in classical music and draws massive crowds from all over the country and beyond. A love of classical music isn’t a new thing in the Czech Republic though – citizens here have a history of embracing this music. They were even one of the first nations to warm to the music of Mozart, well before he became a world renowned figure.
The best loved composer to ever come from the Czech Republic is, as already mentioned, Antonin Dvorak – the composer whose work was even taken to the Moon by Neil Armstrong in 1969! This work was perhaps his most famous – Symphony No. 9 from the New World – but other important pieces written by him include the Slavonic Dances of 1878 and 1881, Stabat Mater and the operas Rusalka and Cert a Kaca. Without doubt Dvorak is someone that the people of the Czech Republic are rightfully very proud of.
Some other famous Czech composers include Leos Janacek (composer of the Cunning Little Vixen), Josef Suk (Serenade for Strings), Bohuslav Martinu (Julietta) and Milan Slavicky. The latter still teaches at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts, which is one of the leading schools of its kind in Europe. Other modern composers include Petr Eben and Marek Kopelent. All of the above composers regularly have their work performed in various different locations throughout the city and visitors should ensure that they catch at least one of these performances when they visit – they truly are a breathtaking experience!
Should you want to experience the absolute pinnacle of Prague’s classical music scene, then you should catch one of the city’s three main orchestras in concert. These are the Prague Symphony Orchestra (www.fok.cz), the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (www.czechphilharmonic.cz) and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (www.cnso.cz). For classical music and opera listings visit www.czechopera.cz.