Czech Republic is home to many legends of music and movies alike, among which is the internationally acclaimed Czech composer, Bedrich Smetana. His unique compositions of classical music have been an inspiration for a separate Czech identity, which was one of the driving factors for the independence of the Czech Republic. Dubbed the Father of Czech music, Bedrich Smetana’s exceptional style of classic music compositions is widely admired in his home country and all over the world.
Bedrich Smetana came into the limelight with his first on stage performance when he was just six years old. 1848 was the beginning of the historic Prague uprising, which inspired this young musician to compose his signature patriotic music. However, he shifted to Sweden soon after and worked as a choirmaster in Gottenburg.
Bedrich Smetana returned to his homeland in 1860 and ushered a new era of the Czech opera. Out of his first two operas staged in 1866, The Bartered Bride achieved great fame and was staged at the Prague Provisional Theatre. One of his other noted works is his symphonic cycle, titled ‘Ma vlast’ or ‘My Homeland’, which is a vivid portrayal of the rural landscape, famous legends, and the rich history of the Czech Republic. His First String Quartet from ‘From My Life’ is also widely acclaimed.
This talented musician began his career as a musical conductor of the Prague Provisional Theatre; however, his term as a conductor is marked with many controversies and incidents. Many considered that his ideas, inspired by the progressive ideas of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt were detrimental to the development of the Czech opera scene. This blatant opposition from the musical personalities of the then Czech opera greatly hindered his career as a musical conductor and had a lasting impact on his health. This great Czech composer passed away in 1884.
Among the many available excursions in Prague, it is highly recommended for tourists to take the Vysehrad Walk Tour. The Vysehrad Cemetery contains the remains of many famous personalities, including Bedrich Smetana. Also, the Bedrich Smetana Museum of the old town is a good stop for classical music enthusiasts.