Today’s Doodle celebrates the son of an amateur violinist who became an eminent composer and conductor. Bedřich Smetana’s operas and symphonic poems, which are still performed all over the world, captured the character of his homeland and helped define the Czech national style of music.
Born in Leitomischl, Bohemia (now Litomyšl, Czech Republic) on this day in 1824, Smetana was performing as a pianist by the time he was six years old. His childhood friend (and future wife) Katerina Kolar helped him secure piano lessons with the composer Josef Proksch. In 1840 he wrote in his diary that he aspired to be “a Mozart in composition and a Liszt in technique." His early compositions impressed Franz Liszt enough that the Hungarian composer offered to find him a publisher.
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