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Sep 8, 2011 6:00 PM - Sep 9, 2011

Tribute to Antonin Dvorak

CONCERT. Free admission. The Embassy of the Czech Republic, the Czech Center New York and the Dvorak American Heritage Association celebrate the 170th birthday of Antonin Dvorak by laying flowers at his statue in Stuyvesant Square and playing his beautiful melodies


STUYVESANT SQUARE PARK ( 17TH Street & Second Avenue), NYC

The Embassy of the Czech Republic, the Czech Center New York and the Dvorak American Heritage Association
cordially invite you
to a public event celebrating the 170th birthday of Antonín Dvořák by laying flowers at his statue
in Stuyvesant Square Park, New York City, and playing his beautiful melodies

HE Petr Gandalovič, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Dr. Susan Lucak, President of the Dvorak American Heritage Association and Mrs. Barbara Karpetová, Head of the Cultural Section of the Czech Embassy, will address the audience.

The Copland Brass Quintet will play selections from Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, the Largo theme from the New World Symphony, and Smetana’s Dance of the Comedians from The Bartered Bride.

This event is part of the MUTUAL INSPIRATIONS FESTIVAL 2011.

In case of rain, the event will take place in the nearby Calvary-St. George Church at 209 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003

This event is a part of the MUTUAL INSPIRATION FESTIVAL 2011


About the Festival:

The Mutual Inspirations Festival 2011 - Antonín Dvořák is an initiative spearheaded by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, under the patronage of Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg, focusing on the mutual inspirations between Czech and American cultures.

The festival takes place at cultural, religious, and educational community centers through a variety of forms, such as music, art, film, and literature. Through the celebration of the work of many famous personalities and the creations of individuals they in turn influenced, the festival aims to depict this long tradition of transatlantic inspiration and interpretation.

The festival begins on September 8, 2011, commemorating the 170th anniversary of the birth of the composer, and ends on October 28, 2011, observing Czech National Day. Antonín Dvořák was one of the most prominent Czech classical composers. Due to his revolutionary thinking of the time, Dvořák left a legacy through his students who would later instruct American legends George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Aaron Copland. Moreover, taking in the sounds of America, Dvořák was inspired to create his most famous piece ― Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, "From the New World," which was listened to by U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong during man's first landing on the Moon.


Antonin Dvorak Statue

This statue by Croatian-American sculptor Ivan Mestrovic (1883–1962) honors the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak (1841–1904) who made this neighborhood his home for a time, and helped to integrate several musical traditions.

Dvorak was born in the village of Nelahozeves, north of the capital city of Prague, on September 8, 1841. His father kept an inn, and there Dvorak as a child often experienced music-making. He took up the violin, and in 1857 was sent for two years to school in Prague for intensive musical training. At this time Dvorak began composing, and supported himself as a violist, organist, and teacher. He became a violist in the Czech National Theatre Orchestra when it was founded in 1862.

Early on, Dvorak was influenced by the musical compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) and Franz Schubert (1797–1828), and later by Franz Liszt (1811–1886) and Richard Wagner (1813–1883); he drew equally from Czech and Slavonic folk traditions. In 1873 his cantata Hymnus was publicly performed, and in that year he married Anna Cermakova. An 1875 Austrian state grant brought Dvorak in contact with Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), who provided him with technical advice and found him the influential publisher Fritz Simrock. Over the next 15 years he was a prolific composer, exhibiting a flair for melody, often with a nationalist flavor. His works were performed across Europe, from England to Russia.

In 1892, Dvorak, already internationally renowned, was appointed director of the National Conservatory of Music in America, and settled for three years in New York City at 327 East 17th Street. During his stay in the United States, he was greatly influenced by African-American spirituals and Native American music. His most famous work in this period was the Symphony #9, in E Minor, better known as the New World Symphony (1893). Other notable compositions during his American tenure included the Cello Concerto (1894-95) and the Quartet in F for strings.

Dvorak’s impact as a teacher was broad. His students included Harry T. Burleigh, a prominent black baritone, and Amy Beach, the first well-known American woman composer. His pupils included those who would later teach such musical luminaries as Duke Ellington (1899–1974), Aaron Copland (1900–1990), and George Gershwin (1898–1937). In 1895, Dvorak returned to Bohemia, and in 1901 he became director of the Prague Conservatory. In his last years he composed two string quartets, five symphonic poems, and three operas; he died on May 1, 1904.

In the early 1990s Dvorak’s former house on East 17th Street was designated a city landmark, but rescinded shortly after. Efforts to save the house proved unsuccessful, and it was demolished in 1991. In response, the Dvorak American Heritage Association, in cooperation with the New York Philharmonic and the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association, procured this statue, and raised funds to conserve it, design a new pedestal, install it in the park opposite the site of Dvorak’s home, and endow its maintenance.

In 1963, this bronze portrait bust was given by the Czechoslovak National Council of America to the Philharmonic, but never put on public display. It is believed to be the last work of the noted sculptor Mestrovic, a student of Rodin and the first living artist to receive a one-person exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mestrovic’s plaster model for this work is on display in the lobby of the Manhattan School of Music. Consigned to a rooftop terrace of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the sculpture was mounted to an inadequate concrete base for three decades, and suffered extensive environmental corrosion.

As part of the relocation project, the statue was repatined, and a new pedestal of green granite was designed by Czech-American architect Jan Hird Pokorny. On September 13, 1997, the effigy of Dvorak was unveiled here near the site of many of his greatest accomplishments. Several hundred spectators and numerous dignitaries, including Jan Koukal, Mayor of Prague, attended the dedication ceremony. It was followed by a Dvorak concert performed by world-class musicians at nearby St. George’s Church.
Info and photo from www.nycgovparks.org



STUYVESANT SQUARE PARK ( 17TH Street & Second Avenue), NYC


From: Sep 8, 2011 6:00 PM
To: Sep 9, 2011


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