Love and longing in Dvorák’s Cello Concerto

Posted on: April 9, 2015 in: Concert Focus, Programmes>2016-17 Season>ÉMIGRÉ

In advance of our upcoming concert on 2 May, From Hollywood to New York, at Cadogan Hall, we’ve taken a closer look at Dvořák’s ever-popular Cello Concerto, which we perform alongside the fantastic YCAT artist, Michael Petrov.

DVORAK homesick longing

Dvořák wrote his Cello Concerto during his three-year residency in America. Bittersweet and melancholic, the work is infused with his homesick longing for his Czech homeland just like his New World symphony.

Dvorak an expression of love

Whilst writing this iconic work, Dvořák learned that his first love, Josefina (and also awkwardly his then sister-in-law…) was seriously ill, and so wove into the concerto one of her favourite songs, ‘Leave Me Alone’. According to many, the piece is a heartfelt tribute to her memory.


Because the piece meant so much to Dvořák, he was particularly insistent that no performer should change it in anyway, as soloists tend to do to make a concerto play to their virtuosic strengths. He wrote to his publisher that:

“I give you my work only if you will promise me that no one shall make any alteration in it without my knowledge and permission… and that its form shall be as I have felt it and thought it out.”

From Hollywood to New York
Saturday 2 May 2015, 7.30pm
Cadogan Hall, London
Tickets from £12 (concessions available)
£5 tickets available for students and 16-25s (pre-register at Cadogan Hall Box Office / 020 7730 4500