Antonín Dvořák was a Czech composer who achieved worldwide recognition for his works. His life and career inspired the 1980 historical biographical film Concert at the End of Summer, in which Dvořák was played by actor Josef Vinklář. Canadian children's author Ian Krykorka has based many of his works on some of Antonín Dvořák's operas.
Bedrich Smetana was a Czech composer remembered for his opera, The Bartered Bride. Considered the father of Czech music, Smetana was a prodigy whose first public performance came at age six. He then went on to establish himself as one of the most important composers of Czech music. Smetana has been honored with a Walk of Fame star in Vienna.
Leos Janacek was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, and teacher. He is credited to have created an original, modern musical style inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music. He was deeply influenced by folklore and by the works of his contemporary and friend, Antonín Dvořák. The Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra is named in his honor.
Jan Hammer is a Czech-American musician, record producer, and composer. He is best known for his work in the popular American crime drama series, Miami Vice, for which he composed and produced music for 90 episodes. Jan Hammer is also known for his collaboration with some of the most influential rock and jazz musicians like John McLaughlin and Mick Jagger.
Czech composer and modern classical musician Bohuslav Martinů had started learning the violin at age 6. While he was dismissed from the Prague Conservatory for his poor performance, he later joined the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and then moved to Paris to study music. He later moved to the US and taught at Princeton.
Legendary Czech composer Julius Fučík, also known as the Bohemian Sousa, initially played the bassoon for the Austro-Hungarian Regiment and then bagged a job with the German opera theater in Prague. His best-known marches include the Florentine March and Entrance of the Gladiators. He spent his final years in Berlin.
Czech composer and violinist Josef Suk was considered one of the most promising students of the reputed Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. Suk along with two other students of Dvořák, Karel Hoffmann and Oskar Nedba, and a student of Hanuš Wihan founded the internationally reputed Czech string quartet called Bohemian Quartet. Major works of Suk are Asrael Symphony and Serenade for Strings.
Composer-musician Jan Dismas Zelenka of Baroque period was known for his compositions that are characterized by adventurous compositional structure with an energetic harmonic invention and complex counterpoint. He achieved the feat of composing Sub olea pacis et palma virtutis for coronation of Charles VI as King of Bohemia and conducting it performance before the King shortly after the latter’s coronation.
Ignaz Moscheles was a Bohemian composer and piano virtuoso. Such was his talent and skills that Beethoven himself entrusted him with the preparation of his only opera Fidelio's piano score. Moscheles considered Beethoven as his idol and cherished the opportunity to work with him. Ignaz Moscheles is also credited with teaching fellow composer and pianist Felix Mendelssohn.
Johann Stamitz was a Bohemian violinist and composer. He is considered the founding father of the Mannheim school, of which his sons Carl and Anton Stamitz were students. Johann Stamitz is best remembered for his 10 orchestral trios and 58 symphonies.
Erwin Schulhoff was a Czech pianist and composer. His musical journey suffered the same fate as that of most European musicians whose careers were cut short by the rise of the Nazis at the beiginning of the 20th century. Although his works were seldom performed or noted during his lifetime, Erwin Schulhoff achieved posthumous recognition.
Rafael Kubelík was a Czech composer and conductor who served as the musical director of The Royal Opera, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also worked as a guest conductor for famous orchestras in America and Europe. Among his works were five operas and three symphonies.
Composer-pianist Jan Ladislav Dussek remained instrumental in representing Czech music globally, travelling widely across Europe and performing at courts and concert venues. Noted for technical prowess, Dussek played a significant role in extending the size of the pianoforte. His compositions for the harp are regarded as standard repertoire for all harpists, while the ones for piano are highly valued by many teachers.
Josef Mysliveček was a Czech composer who made immense contributions to the development of late 18th-century classicism in music. He is best remembered for his collaborations with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Josef Mysliveček was also close to the Mozart family.
Rudolf Friml was a Czech-born composer of songs, piano pieces, musicals, and operettas. A fine pianist, Friml enjoyed success in the United States and UK; many of his compositions were adapted for Broadway and films. Rudolf Friml was one of the earliest inductees of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
Apart from being a significant figure of New York’s underground rock scene, Czech-born musician and songwriter Ivan Kral was also a talented filmmaker. He co-wrote and worked as a guitarist and bassist for a number of artists, such as Patti Smith. He also recorded a few film scores.
Czech composer and pedagogue Vítězslav Augustín Rudolf Novák, who stylistically remained a part of the neo-romantic tradition, composed music that is regarded as a significant example of Czech modernism. A student of Antonín Dvořák at the Prague Conservatory, Novák emerged as a leading proponent of nationalism in Czech music and taught several Czech composers of the 20th century.
Czech composer, music theorist and teacher Alois Hába, counted among the prominent discoverers of modern classical music, emerged as a leading composer of the Czech modernist music and earned international repute as an important avant-garde composer. Most significant works of Hába include his String quartets, which showcase the development of his style.
While initially trained in painting, Czech composer and musician Ivan Mládek later switched to music. A cultural icon in his country, he became known for his funny tracks and, later, for his comedy. He also designed the Guitariano and played minor roles in a few Czech films.
Though Czech composer Leopold Koželuch had planned to study law, he later switched his focus to music. He began his career as a piano instructor and later rose to be one of the finest composers of ballet and operas. He also served as a court composer in Vienna.
Czech nobleman Krystof Harant was, at the same time, a traveler, a soldier, a composer, and a writer. He was recognized as one of the finest Bohemian composers of his time and was a major figure of the Franco-Flemish polyphony school of music. He was eventually executed for revolting against the king.
Bohemian composer Jaromir Weinberger started playing the piano at age 5 and conducting and composing at age 10. Best remembered for his opera Shvanda the Bagpiper, he later moved to the US and settled there. He had composed over 100 works, including operettas and choral works.
Alexander Dreyschock was a Czech composer and pianist. He is best remembered for playing the arpeggios of Frédéric Chopin's Étude on the Bombardment of Warsaw in octaves using only his left hand. Alexander Dreyschock also taught at St. Petersburg Conservatory where Arkady Abaza was one of his students.
Jean-Baptiste Krumpholz was a Czech harpist and composer. He is best remembered for composing sonatas and concertos for harp and chamber music. Apart from working as a composer, Jean-Baptiste Krumpholz also worked alongside Jean Henri Naderman, one of Paris' leading harp-makers, towards revamping the construction of the harp.
Emil František Burian was a Czech poet, singer, actor, journalist, musician, composer, playwright, dramatic adviser, and director. Burian had a major influence on Czech modern theatre. His innovative staging methods and inventions continue to serve as an inspiration even today. A communist, Emil František Burian was also active in politics.
Czech pianist and composer Vadim Petrov is best known for his compositions in movies such as Retez and Trnové pole. After the end of the Prague Spring movement, he faced a ban and later focused on teaching music. He was married to Czech actor Zlata Adamovská
Friedrich Dionys Weber was a musicologist and composer best remembered for his service as the first director of the famous Prague Conservatory. He controlled higher musical education in Prague and was considered the most influential musicologist of Prague at that time. Friedrich Dionys Weber also wrote many music theory textbooks, which were considered important.
Born into a family of musicians, composer Jiří Gemrot began training in the piano at age 7 and began composing at age 13. He has served both Czech Radio and Czechoslovak Television as a music director. Some of his best-known works include the orchestra pieces American Overture and Three Adagios.
Václav Kašlík was a Czech composer, conductor, and opera director. He is best remembered for his operas, which he performed on stage and on television. A student of the famous Prague Conservatory, Václav Kašlík established himself as a world-renowned director at the Prague National Theatre.