Monday, October 25, 2010

Dvořák and the Premiere of the New World Symphony

On December 17, 1893, the headlines of the New York Herald announced a monumental event. “Dr. Dvořák’s Great Symphony” it declared, and then continued for a full page, lauding the New World Symphony’s premiere. In the concert the night before with the New York Philharmonic and conductor Anton Seidl, the work had shared the program with Brahms’ Violin Concerto and selections from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, yet all attention was granted to the symphony. That such an important work had premiered in Carnegie Hall, not in Europe, particularly excited the editors. They seemed to imagine that Dvořák had composed it only for the pleasure of American audiences.

-Betsy Schwarm, long-time announcer/producer for KVOD and music professor

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