Though his music had slowly been gaining recognition in Prague during the early 1870s, Dvořák’s reputation and financial situation were still uncertain by the beginning of 1875. But in February of that year he was awarded the lucrative and prestigious Austrian State Prize for his third and fourth symphonies. Buoyed by this first sign of wider recognition he produced a stream of vital, strongly characterized works over the next twelve months, including the Serenade for strings, the opera Vanda, the fifth symphony and several chamber compositions. One of these was the Piano Quartet in D major, composed rapidly between 24 May and 10 June, shortly after the Piano Trio in B flat. Yet, like the trio, the piano quartet had to wait some years for its first performance; it was finally played, in a slightly revised version, in the Konvikt Hall, Prague, on 16 December 1880, at a concert supported by the city’s Artistic Circle.