Dvorak first received a commission to write a work for a Birmingham Festival in 1884. The result was The Spectre's Bride which received it's first performance at the 1885 festival with Dvorak conducting. Earlier in 1884 Dvorak had made his first trip to England and conducted a performance of his Stabat Mater at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 1890 he was again commissioned to write a work and his Requiem was given it's first performance at the 1891 festival. It received a good response from the audience but press reviews were less favourable. One claimed that the work was too taxing for the chorus.
One of Dvorak's works was performed at each of the Richter festivals from 1885 to 1909 as follows:
The Spectre's Bride 1885 & 1900, Stabat Mater 1888 & 1909, Requiem 1891, Husitska Overture 1894, Carnival Overture 1897 and Symphonic Variations 1903.