ZDENĚK FIBICH (1850 - 1900)
Born on December 21, 1850, in Seborice, Zdeněk Fibich is one of the better-known 19th-century Czech composers. He studied in Prague under Frederico Smetana, then in Leipzig and Paris. Inspired as much by Czech subjects as by international, he composed the very first symphonic poem based on Czech legend entitled Zaboj, Slavoj and Ludek. Fibich was also the first to use a polka in place of a scherzo in a string quartet. Among his major influences were Dvorak, Brahms, Schumann and Wagner. Fibich was also greatly influenced by Smetana, although he began work on his nationalist tone poem cycle a year before Smetana began writing Ma Vlast.
Among his most-loved works are the opera trilogy Hippoamie and the perfect example of his gift with melody, his Moods, Impressions, and Reminiscences, written for piano. In 1897, Fibich composed his final and most-performed opera, Sarka. Fibich died in 1900 in Prague.