|born on||2 March 1824 at 10:00 (= 10:00 AM )|
|Place||Litomysl, Czech Republic, 49n52, 16e19|
|Timezone||LMT m16e19 (is local mean time)|
|Astrology data||11°47' 27°38 Asc. 10°24'|
Czechoslovakian composer, the acknowledged founder of a Czechoslovakian national music. First playing violin in a quartet at the age of five, he wrote many operas and symphonic poems.
The seventh child, his dad was a brewer who was also passionately fond of music. At the age of five he was already improvising on the violin, but he preferred to play the piano and also practiced singing. In a quartet at home, Smetana played first violin, his father second. He attended the Gymnasium in Prague and then moved on the Pilsen where he made his first public appearance. Overcoming his father's resistance, Smetana went back to Prague to take the long postponed lessons in composition. He found a position as music master at Count Thun's family (1844-47) with enough time left over to complete the assignments in composition for his teacher, Proksch.
Not satisfied with his life as a teacher in the provincial atmosphere of Prague and in October 1858, on a whim, he went to Gothenburg, Sweden where he found a group of ardent music-lovers and students. This led him to become conductor of the new Philharmonic Society where he gave performances of the "Creation," Mozart's "Requiem," and "Elijah." He also gave piano and chamber music recitals and fared well financially. He moved to Gothenburg in September 1857. The northern climate did not agree with his wife's health and they started back for Prague in 1859. Katarine died in Dresden, en route, on 4/19/1859.
Returning to Gothernburg, he composed three symphonic poems: "Richard III," "Wallensteins Lager," and "Hakon Jarl," the last of these not completed until 1861. It was not until 1863 that Smetana settled permanently in Prague where he again opened a music school. In 1864 Prague received its first stage for the performance of Czech opera exclusively. Smetana had already composed his "Branibori v Cechach" (Brandenburgers in Bohemia) for a national theater. He followed with his gay masterpiece, "Prodana Nevesta" (The Bartered Bride) on 5/30/1866. The piece failed. War was impending and the mood of the times was against it. It would take three performances, which took place five months later, to establish it. He wrote his opera "Dalibor" in 1867, "Libuse" (Libussa) in 1872 followed by the comic "Dve Vdovy" (Two Widows.)
On 10/27/1848 Smetana married Katharine Kolar, a pianist he'd met on his frequent visits to music-loving families in the country. He married his second wife, Betty Ferdinandi (1840-1908), in July 1860.
In 1874, after his health had been impaired for some time by overwork and he had suffered frequent headaches, Smetana suddenly became stone deaf. He went on the compose the string quartet "Zmeho Zivota" (From My Life), 1876 and the operas "Hubicka" (The Kiss) 1876 and "Tajemstvi" (The Secret), 1878. The deafness was, however, only the prelude to a complete mental breakdown that began in 1883. By the end of April 1884 he had to be placed in an insane asylum in Prague. He died there the following month on 5/12/1884.
LMR quotes B. Large "Smetana," p.2
- Vocation : Entertainment : Child performer (Violin at five)
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Composer/ Arranger (Operas, symphonic poems)
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Violin)
- Notable : Book Collection : American Book