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19. století

Bedrich Smetana

Prominent Czech composer and follower of Romanticism
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<highlight>Smetana was an excellent composer, who for a time lived and composed in Gothenburg, Sweden. In his youth he was affected by a threatening infection, which he miraculously survived, although its consequences resulted in problems all through his life. These culminated with the permanent loss of his sense of hearing.</highlight>
Smetana devoted himself to music since the age of 4. He went to high-school in Pilsen and later made a living as a music teacher for wealthy clients. In the years 1856-1861 Smetana lived in Gothenburg, Sweden. Following this

stint abroad he applied for the position of director at the Prague conservatory, but was unsuccessful, which resulted in a considerable financial strain for him.
After composing The Brandenburgers in Bohemia and The Bartered Bride, his situation improved and he was even accepted as conductor. After 1870, however, his health deteriorated so greatly that he had to restrict all activities, although he certainly didn’t stop composing. Before his death he managed to finish, among others, the world-famous cycle My Fatherland and the Czech Dances for piano.


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