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Antonin Dvorak was born in a little Bohemian village on September 8, 1841 as the son of Frantisek, a village innkeeper and butcher as well as an amateur musician, and his mother Anna (classicalmusic.about.com, classical.net). Not being born into poverty, his mother and father positively encouraged Antonin in his musical career. After learning the violin, he was sent to the Prague Organ School, which he attended until the age of eighteen, graduating as a trained organist and immediately dove into the life as a working musician; playing in various dance bands usually as a violinist. One of his groups became the heart of the Provisional Theatre orchestra, which was the first Czech-language Theater in Prague, Dvorak was chosen as principal violinist. He soon began giving private piano lessons shortly after which led to the marrying of one of his students, daughter of a goldsmith, Anna Cermakova (classicalmusic.about.com).
He began composing a ton of music during this early period, learning how by studying scores mainly by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, and Wagner. Many of his works were influenced by Czech folk music, both in terms of rhythm and melodic shapes. Dvorak also wrote operas (the best one known as Rusalka), chamber music (including many...