Bedřich Smetana (2 March 1824 - 12 May 1884) was a Czech composer, one of his nation's most significant. He is best known for his symphonic poem Vltava - Die Moldau, the second in a cycle of six which he entitled Má vlast ("My Homeland"), and for his opera Prodaná nevěsta ("The Bartered Bride").
Smetana was the son of a brewer in Litomyšl in Bohemia. He studied piano and violin from an early age, and played in an amateur string quartet with other members of his family. He attended a high school in Pilsen from 1840-1843.