David Shifrin
David Shifrin

1893: Dvořák's American Quintet

Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 7:30 PM at Alice Tully Hall


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A magical evocation of a Midwest farmland sunrise opens Dvořák’s “American” quintet, a work inspired by the plains of Spillville, Iowa, and the music of Native and African-Americans. This deeply moving work opened a vast musical horizon in the New World, pointing American composers in search of a voice to their own native musical heritage. Harry Burleigh, an African-American music student at New York’s National Conservatory, sang spirituals for Dvořák. The iconic Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein both drew on Dvořák’s game-changing vision to create their own American masterworks.

Celebrate with the musicians at a post-concert reception featuring Clos Du Val wine, generously sponsored by Francis Goelet and the Goelet Family.


  • Burleigh Southland Sketches for Violin and Piano (1916)
  • Dvořák Quintet in E-flat major for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Cello, Op. 97, "American" (1893)
  • Bernstein Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1941-42)
  • Copland Appalachian Spring Suite for Ensemble (1944)