I walk by this statut every day and this morning, I thought I'd look him up. He is the "father of Czech music".. Not to shabby, right?! Naturally gifted as a pianist, his name is Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) and he was an internationally known Czech composer. In 1874, he had become ill (throat infection, rash, blockage to the ears). Then his spirits were lowered when he became totally deaf. In January 1875, he wrote in his journal; "If my disease is incurable, then I should prefer to be liberated from this life". He died in 1884.