Antonín Leopold Dvorák was a Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana, Dvorák frequently employed features of the folk musics of Moraviaand his native Bohemia, (then parts of the Austrian Empire and now constituting the Czech Republic). Dvorák’s own style has been described as ‘the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them.
Influenced by his slightly older countryman, Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884), Dvořák embraced the folk music of Bohemia and Slovakia, though his idiomatic-sounding melodies were his own. Early in his career he was smitten by Wagner, whose influence shows most tellingly in some of the early symphonies. Later, partly because of the tremendous support he received from Brahms, a distinctive Brahmsian influence is very apparent in Dvořák’s 7th Symphony, Op. 65 Piano Trio and elsewhere. His music reveals a melodist of almost Schubertian greatness with a harmonic gift that always intensifies feeling. He wrote copious amounts of chamber music, including 14 string quartets and a significant number of other variously scored works.