Influenced by Beeethoven, Schubert and Liszt as well as Czech folk traditions, Dvorak was a prolific composer beginning in the mid-1870s. In 1892 he began a three-year tenure as director of the National Conservatory of Music in America. His most famous composition during this period was Symphony #9 in E minor, the “New World Symphony” (1893). In 1895 Dvorak returned to Bohemia; he died in Prague in 1904.
According to the Grove Dictionary,
With Smetana, Fibich and Janacek he is regarded as one of the great nationalist Czech composers of the 19th century. ... He earned worldwide admiration and prestige for 19th-century Czech music with his symphonies, chamber music, oratorios, songs and, to a lesser extent, his operas." (New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, 2nd ed., VII:777)
This bust is by a student of Rodin - not a big surprise, given the texture. Originally dedicated in 1963 on a rooftop terrace of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, it was moved in 1997 to its present location, to honor the neighborhood where Dvorak lived during his time in America.