Dvořák’s American sojourn (1892–95) is one of the most amazing chapters in the history of classical music in the United States. During this brief period he composed his best-known symphony, string quartet and concerto. And he uttered his most famous, influential and controversial words, that a “great and noble school” of American music would be founded upon “Negro melodies.”Our festival, with three concerts in four days at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park), plus an earlier event at Georgetown University, includes the world premiere of a 35-minute “Hiawatha Melodrama”—which we record for Naxos the next day.