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Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich (1840 – 1893)

photograph of Tchaikovsky
bearing a dedication to Dvorak

Russian composer and conductor. Dvorak became acquainted with Tchaikovsky in early 1888 during the latter’s visit to Prague, where he performed twice as a conductor. In honour of the Russian guest the artists’ association Umelecka beseda organised a special gathering whose programme included a performance of Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81. The following day Tchaikovsky was invited to the Dvoraks’ home for lunch. The composers gave each other scores of their own works – in Tchaikovsky’s case this was Suite No. 3, in Dvorak’s, Symphony No. 4 in D minor. Tchaikovsky visited Prague again in November and December of that year; his itinerary included a performance conducting the opera Eugene Onegin (the first outside Russia) at the National Theatre. Dvorak was present at the theatre and the work made a profound impression on him. On the invitation of Tchaikovsky, Antonin Dvorak travelled to Russia in 1890, where he conducted two concerts of his own works.