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Bedrich Smetana

Born in Litomysl, Czechoslovakia, in 1824, Bedrich Smetana is considered the founder of Czech nationalist music. He was a gifted child prodigy; playing in a string quartet at the age of five, and playing the piano for the Emperor of Austria a year later. He moved to Prague in 1843 to continue his studies and made a meager living teaching. In 1848, he started his own music school, which failed, as well as an attempt to begin a concert career. He finally found some measure of success when he took a job teaching piano in Göteborg, Sweden, in 1856.