Bedrich Smetana Biography
Smetana holds an important place in the development of musical nationalism in his native Bohemia, where he was born in 1824, the son of a master brewer in the service of Count Waldstein and others. His career was interrupted by a period of self-imposed exile in Sweden, after the political disappointments that followed the turmoil of 1848. He was instrumental in the establishment of Czech national opera and a Czech national style, in particular in his symphonic poems. He was deaf in later life, but continued to compose, an autobiographical element appearing in his string quartets.