Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904), Czech composer of romantic classical music.
A friend of Johannes Brahms, Dvorak gave up playing viola in an orchestra to begin composing in 1871 full time. He lived for several years in America, where he wrote one of his most popular pieces Symphony No. 9 as well as other works including his Cello Concerto. His daughter ended up marrying one of his pupils - Josef Suk.
As an interesting piece of historical trivia, Neil Armstrong took his Symphony No. 9 on the Apollo 11 mission (the first moon landing in 1969).
About his Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, it was well recieved and even Brahms was impressed enough to state: "Had I known that one could write a cello concerto like this, I would have written one long ago!" or "Why on earth didn't I know that one could write a cello concerto like this? If I had only known, I would have written one long ago!" (2 different sources says 2 different things - go figure!)
It is his Symphony No. 9 that so long ago became the first piece of classical music that I liked and has stuck with me through the years. At this point I own Harnoncourt's version and intend on owning Karajan one day as well.
Why do I like it? I can't tell you honestly... I enjoy the power of the horns and the drums together... the peace of the strings and woodwinds would be a start but not a fulfilling description. I simply enjoy it.