Czech composer, violinist, and viola player. He studied in Prague with Dvořák, whose daughter he married in 1898. His earlier works are in the style of Dvořák; later he developed a more modern style of his own. Much of his music was influenced by personal experiences, especially the death of his wife in 1905 (including the piano pieces About Mother written for his infant son) and that of Dvořák in 1904. The Asrael symphony (1906), in particular, refers to these two deaths.
In 1892 he formed the Bohemian String Quartet with Karel Hofmann, Oscar Nedbal, and Otto Berger, playing second violin. He began to compose early and in 1922 became professor of composition at the Prague Conservatory, of which he was director 1924–26. His work includes symphonies (Asrael 1906), chamber music, choral works, piano pieces, and incidental music for three plays.
WorksChoral with orchestra Mass in B♭ major, Epilogue for baritone solo, women's chorus, and orchestra.
OrchestralA Tale and Under the Appletrees for orchestra; Serenade (1892) and meditation on a chorale for string orchestra; fantasy for violin and orchestra (1902), symphony in E major (1899), Asrael (1906); symphonic poems Prague, A Summer Tale, and Maturity.
Dramatic incidental music for Julius Zeyer's Radúz and Mahulena (1898), overture to Shakespeare's Winter's Tale (1894).
Chamber two string quartets (1896, 1911), piano quartet, piano trio, elegy for violin and cello with string quartet, harmonium, and harp; Ballade and Serenade for cello and piano; sets of piano pieces; part songs.
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