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Gilded Age Newsmakers: Antonín Dvořák, Jeannette Thurber, and the National Conservatory of Music of America

  • Bohemian National Hall 321 E 73rd St New York, NY USA (map)

From the moment Czech composer Antonín Dvořák stepped ashore to assume the post of Director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in September 1892, he was besieged by reporters anxious to follow his every move.  Active behind the scenes was music impresario Jeannette Meyer Thurber, Founder and President of the Conservatory and a New York mover and shaker. In a talk by cultural historian Majda Kallab Whitaker of the Dvořák American Heritage Association, learn how these unlikely partners charged the musical scene with excitement in Gilded Age New York. Their combined efforts inspired a new generation of American composers and led to the creation of some of Dvořak's greatest works - from the "New World" Symphony to the Cello Concerto - during his epoch-making three-year American residency. Visit the Czech Center exhibition of the original manuscript of Dvořák's magnificent Cello Concerto, a national treasure on loan from the Czech National Museum, as well as an associated exhibit in the Dvořák Room.   Presented in collaboration with Czech Center New York.

Admission is free, limited seating.  Register here!

Supported by Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association. 

Images: Jeannette Meyer Thurber, President, National Conservatory of America circa 1885. Antonín Dvořák, Director of the National Conservatory of Music of America, circa 1893.  DAHA Archive. 




Majda Kallab Whitaker is an independent scholar and curatorial consultant specializing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century cultural and design history, and has acted as curatorial advisor for DAHA's Dvořák Room in the Bohemian National Hall since 2006.  She has presented lectures, walking tours, and exhibitions including "New World Diplomacy: The Contract that Brought Antonín Dvořák to America," and recently authored an article on Antonín Dvořák, Jeannette Thurber and the National Conservatory of Music of America in 19th Century Magazine, a publication of the Victorian Society in America.  Born in Prague, she is a graduate of Vassar College and Bard Graduate Center for material culture studies in New York City, and serves as a Board Member of the Dvořák American Heritage Association and the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association.