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Leto - 2000

New documentary film by
Lucille Carra, Brian Cotnoir & Maurice Peress

Dvorak and America
Co-Production of Travelfilm Co, Czech TV and AVRO (Netherlands Broadcasting)
Supported in part by NY Council for the Humanities

Antonin Dvorak and discussion with conductor Maurice Peress,
producer Lucille Carra and
musicologist Reid Badger

Tuesday, June 27 at 7:30 P.M.

at the New York Czech Center
1109 Madison Ave (at 83rd Street)

held to celebrate the broadcast of the film on PBS on July 3rd at 10 p.m. and the launch of the PBS Video and Webside (

Check for local television schedule

Contact: Marketa Novakova
(212) 288 0830 - ext. 100
fax (212) 288 0971

DVORAK AND AMERICA, a new one hour musical documentary film by Lucille Carra and Brian Cotnoir, will premiere on PBS nationally on July 3, 2000 at 10:00 p.m., est. The PBS Video and PBS Website ( will be launched at the same time. The World Premiere was held at the Golden Prague Festival and the International Premiere at Royal Festival Hall in London on November 7th. The Independent reviewed the film as: "doing Dvorak proud; imaginative and absorbing ." DVORAK AND AMERICA is distributed by RM Associates in Europe and by Ronin Films in Australia.

On September 26, 1892, when Czech composer Antonin Dvorak arrived in New York to direct the National Conservatory, he was given the daunting task of creating an American national music for a young nation boundlessly confident in its resources, but still looking to Europe for a sense of identity. When he pronounced that there already was a source - "based on Negro melodies"- he not only sparked controversy, but invigorated an already burgeoning community of African-American musicians.

Producers Lucille Carra and Brian Cotnoir combine both classical and popular music, Dvorak’s original music scores, unpublished personal letters, oral histories, rare wax cylinder recordings and sumptuously photographed locations in Prague, New York, and the American prairies, to reveal the musical links between cultures.

Maurice Peress has reconstructed and newly orchestrated music for DVORAK AND AMERICA, including music from one of the first Broadway musical hits, Will Marion Cook’s In Dahomey (heard here for the first time since 1904); Maurice Arnold’s American Plantation Dances, and Dvorak’s arrangement of Stephen Foster’s Old Folks at Home. Renowned Czech writer, Josef Skvorecky (author of "Dvorak in Love"), cultural historian, Gerald Early and Dvorak’s granddaughter, Vera Johnova are among the participants in the film.

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