Mar 02, 2024

On This Day in 1824: Czech Music Composer Bedřich Smetana is Born

On March 2, 2024, Czechs celebrate the bicentenary of Bedřich Smetana’s birth, Czech music composer, founder of the Czech national music and author of the symphony “My Country”.

Smetana not only defined the musical identity of Czechia, but his work, especially “The Bartered Bride”, touched the audience all over the world.

Born in Litomyšl, Eastern Bohemia, Smetana displayed musical talent from an early age, receiving his first music lessons from his father before later moving to Prague to study.

Despite facing personal tragedy and adversity, including the deaths of three of his four daughters and deafness in his later years, the composer remained dedicated to his musical craft, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire musicians and audiences worldwide, two centuries after his birth.

The National Theater Opera will host a Smetana Gala concert on Saturday, March 2, at the historic ND building, featuring a selection of Smetana’s operas.

The performance will be broadcast on television and radio and live streamed onto the National Theatre’s Piazetta, where the public can enjoy the concert and commemorate Smetana’s birthday via a giant outdoor screen.

In addition to pleasant and warm seating, hot drinks and some yummies, organizers are preparing a rich accompanying program for all ages.

The livestream event is free and open to the public, with the celebration starting at 2 p.m. and highlights at 6:30 p.m. with a finale at 9:30 p.m.

In 2024, the Year of Czech Music and the 200th anniversary of his birth, a whole host of events be dedicated to him under the slogan Smetana200.

After his death, he was laid to rest amongst other great Czechs at Vyšehrad Cemetery, in the monumental Slavín tomb.

He shares his final resting place with figures such as the world-famous composer Antonín Dvořák, opera singer Emma Destinnová and Czechia’s most celebrated poet, Karel Hynek Mácha.

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