Czech Influences on World Music

Czech Influences on World Music

There’s a saying that in every Czech person there’s a musician. And there are also many famous non-Czech composers who came from or spent time in the Czech Lands.

10. 12. 2018 Škoda World Heritage

Their works are frequently performed by top world orchestras, including the Czech Philharmonic, traditionally sponsored by ŠKODA for twenty years now.Perhaps the most significant piece of Czech music has been Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony. It was played by the Apollo 11 crew when they landed on the moon and made their way on to the lunar surface. While Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana are the best-known Czech composers, the Czech basin has also left its mark on the works and lives of other musical heavyweights.

Czech Footprint

This year, the Czech Republic is celebrating the centenary of Czech statehood, with Czechoslovakia having been founded as an independent state on 28 October 1918. The ŠKODA brand – its history closely connected with that of the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia – is also commemorating this anniversary. ŠKODA Storyboard is marking this occasion with a series of articles entitled Czech Footprints. This series traces Czech influences that have achieved world renown, some of which are not widely known to have roots in the Czech Republic.



Gustav Mahler

It was on the second Saturday in July 1860 when a house in Kaliště resonated with a shrill cry as the second child of the Mahlers, a family of German-speaking Czech Jews, came into the world. He was given the name Gustav and stayed in this house for just four months before the family moved to Jihlava. There, his talents were soon noticed and developed by local musicians, and he himself imbibed Czech musical culture. An exhibition called “Mahler and Bohemia” is dedicated to him, as one of the greatest Austrian composers, in the reconstructed house of his birth.


Richard Wagner

This famous musical romanticist visited the Czech Lands a number of times on his travels. He came to Prague frequently when his works were performed, once he spent a whole month in Teplice and Mariánské Lázně, and after a hike to Střekov Castle he composed the opera Tannhäuser.


Frédéric Chopin

A Pole on his mother's side, French on his father's side, he was taught the piano in Warsaw by the Czech Czech maestro Vojtěch Živný. In 1836, Chopin visited Mariánské Lázně, where the Frédéric Chopin Festival is now held in his honour.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

H  twice visited Prague, where his works were given a warmer reception than in Vienna. When in town, he stayed in the Villa Bertramka. Before that – at the young age of eleven – he found himself in the Czech Lands, when he stayed in Olomouc to avoid a smallpox epidemic in Vienna. In fact, he composed his Symphony No 6 in F major in the local Hauenschild Palace.


Carl Maria von Weber

He had a three-year stint in charge of the opera at the Prague Estates Theatre, got married at the Church of St Henry in the New Town district of Prague, personally conducted his opera Der Freischütz (The Marksman) in Prague, and was (unsuccessfully) treated for tuberculosis in Mariánské Lázně.