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Bedrich Smetana: Visions of a Bohemian Homeland

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, March 7, 2024 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0448
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Materials for this program

Bedrich Smetana (Library of Congress)

“My home has rooted itself into my heart so much that only there do I find real contentment. It is to this that I will sacrifice myself.”­ —Bedrich Smetana

Bedrich Smetana (1824–1884) is celebrated as the Czech Republic’s first nationalist composer. Born in Bohemia, at the northwest corner of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Smetana dedicated his life to championing Czech culture and language through his operas, tone poems, chamber music, and piano works. His ardent patriotism produced such masterpieces as the joyful comic opera The Bartered Bride, the sweeping six-movement symphonic cycle My Homeland, and his autobiographical string quartet, From My Life.

To honor Smetana’s 200th birthday year, pianist and scholar Rachel Franklin explores his powerful legacy and spotlights many lesser-known piano and operatic gems by this pioneering Czech master.

British-born Franklin has been a featured speaker for organizations including the Library of Congress and NPR, exploring intersections among classical and jazz music, film scores, and the fine arts.

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