Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904) Antonín Dvořák is the most played Czech composer in the world so far. He came from a butcher’s family of eight children that lived in Nelahozeves. He is an author of nine symphonies of whom the Symphony No.9, From the New World is the best-known. This symphony is inspired by his own experiences from the time he spent in the USA. He is also an author of 10 operas of which the most famous are Rusalka and The Devil and Kate. Apart from operas and symphonies he moved to other musical formations such as piano compositions and the chamber music. In Prague there was a museum built in his honour in 1932. Even more interesting is that there is a planet (2055 Dvořák) named after him, as is one of the craters of Mercury.
Bedřich Smetana (1824 - 1884) This world-famous Czech composer was proving his qualities since he was young. As early as the age of five he already played a violin very well and during his studies at grammar school he devoted his free time to music. When he graduated from grammar school, he went to Prague looking for a job and he started to compose his first compositions. Later he moved to Swedish Göteborg where he lived for five years. After returning from Sweden, he became a conductor of an orchestra in the Provisional Theatre. In 1876 he lost his hearing which did not hold him back in further composing. Smetana was an author of unforgettable operas like The Brandenburgers in Bohemia, The Bartered Bride, Libuše, The Kiss or The Devil‘s Wall.
Leoš Janáček (1854 – 1928) He belongs among the most famous representatives of Czech music in the world. He is admired especially for his authenticity. For the most of his life he lived in Brno where he worked as a teacher and he established the Prague Organ School. Janáček worked on his masterpiece Her Stepdaughter for about nine years of his life because he was closely studying the language and he cared about details. When he finally finished the opera, Prague National Theatre refused to execute it so he had to put up with the work of the theatre in Brno. It took 12 years until the opera was actually performed in Prague as well. Together with Her Stepdaughter Janáček also wrote libretto The Cunning Little Vixen and the piano cycle In the Mist.
Bohuslav Martinů (1890 – 1959) Martinů was a famous composer born in 1890 in the tower of the church in Polička. In his childhood he played piano, violin and organ. He worked as a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and then he also studied in Paris. Martinů was influenced by the era of Les Six. He was very much inspired by the folk music and after by the jazz music, for example in his works Špalíček and Tři přání. Gradually he advanced to the chamber music. His most well-known opera is Julietta or The Key of Dreams.
Karel Gott (1939) He is a famous pop singer, who as a young man wanted to become a painter. He did not manage to do it so he decided to start singing. After performing in many variety shows, he firstly attracted attention of people in 1958, when he won an amateur singing contest. Through the Semafor theatre he got to his own stage called Apollo where he worked until 1967. Golden era of Karel Gott came in the mid 80s. In spite of the fact that he announced the end of his career he actually decided to carry on in 1990. He is one of the most famous singers from the Czech Republic. Gott won the Czech award called Český slavík for the best singer more than 39 times in his life.