Prague (Praha) is the capital and largest
city of the Czech Republic, situated on the River Vltava in central Bohemia.
During Tchaikovsky's lifetime it was part of the Austrian crownland of Bohemia,
and part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867.
The composer paid three visits to Prague:
- 31 January/12 February–10/22 February 1888 — to rehearse and conduct two
concerts of his own works (see below). On his arrival he was given a civic
reception, and there were events held in his honour at the Artists' Forum
(Umělecká beseda) (1/13 February), at the Russian
Club (4/16 February). the Students' Society (4/16 February), the Civic Forum
(Měšťanská beseda) (4/16 February). He also
spent a great deal of time with the composer Antonín Dvořák, and met other
Czech musicians and dignitaries.
- 15/27 November–25 November/7 December 1888 — for further conducting engagements,
including the Czech premiere of the opera Yevgeny Onegin (see below).
- 30 September/12 October–1/13 October 1892 — to attend the Czech premiere
of the opera The Queen of Spades
at the National Theatre, conducted by
Adolf Čech. "It passed off very well, and the ovations were enthusiastic"  .
Tchaikovsky's conducting schedule was as follows:
- 7/19 February 1888 — the second grand concert of the Society of Artists
(Umělecká beseda) at the Rudolfinum, including the overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet, the Piano Concerto No. 1 (soloist Aleksandr Ziloti), the Elegy
from the Suite No. 3, the Violin Concerto (soloist
Karel Halíř), and the overture The Year 1812. "Generally
this has been one of the most important days of my life. I'm very much in
love with these good Czechs" 
- 9/21 February 1888 — a concert at the National Theatre (Národní Divadlo),
featuring the Serenade for
String Orchestra, the Theme with Variations from the Suite No. 3, various piano
pieces (soloist Aleksandr Ziloti),
the overture The Year 1812,
and concluding with a staged performance of Act II of the ballet Swan Lake (for the first time
outside Russia). "Enormous success... A moment of absolute happiness.
But just a moment..." .
- 18/30 November 1888 — a concert of Tchaikovsky's own works, including
the Symphony No. 5 and Piano Concerto No. 2 (soloist Vasily Sapel’nikov).
- 24 November/6 December 1888 — a production of Yevgeny Onegin at the National
Theatre (for the first time outside Russia). Afterwards the composer was met
with "an unending series of the most enthusiastic ovations. The performance
was very good, particularly the singer who performed the role of Tatyana
whom I liked very much" .
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- Letter 4781 to Anatoly Tchaikovsky, 7/19 October
- Diary entry for 7/19 February 1888 [back]
- Diary entry for 8/20 February 1888 [back]
- Letter 3731 to Nadezhda von Meck, 26 November/8 December