Antonin Dvorak, the son of a butcher, was born near Prague, in the Austria-Hungary Empire in 1841. He worked for his father before enrolling in a organ school in Prague.
In 1859 he began to earn a living playing the viola in an orchestra. He also gave private lessons as well as composing music. In 1873 he achieved his first success with Hymnus. This resulted in him being given a state grant and this enabled him to write Slavonic Dances and Stabat Mater.
In 1894 Dvorak moved to the United States and became director of the New York Conservatory. While living in New York he wrote his most popular work, From the New World. Other works by Dvorak include two operas, Rusalka (1901) and Armida (1904). Antonin Dvorak died in 1904.