Open main menu

The New International Encyclopædia/Smetana, Friedrich

< The New International Encyclopædia

SMETANA, smĕ-tä′nȧ, Friedrich (1824-84). A Bohemian composer and pianist, born in Leitomischl. He studied music under Proksch of Prague, and later with Liszt. He founded a music school in Prague, but in 1856 went to Sweden, where he became conductor of the Philharmonic concerts at Gothenburg. Returning to Prague in 1866, he became kapellmeister at the National Bohemian Theatre. Smetana's works are thoroughly Bohemian, and as a national composer he is of the greatest importance. His works include the following operas: The Bartered Bride (1806); Dalibor (1868); Two Widows (1874); The Kiss (1876); The Secret (1878); Libussa (1881), and The Devil's Wall (1882); the symphonic poems, Richard III. (1858); Wallensteins Lager (1859); Hakon Jarl (1861) ; My Country, comprising six independent works (1874-79); and other symphonies, string quartets, and smaller compositions. He died in the Prague lunatic asylum. For his biography, consult Wellek (Prague, 1899).