Many 18th-century composers from Bohemia and Moravia held leading positions in the imperial capital of Vienna, the hub of musical life at the time. One of them was Leopold Koželuch, whose 50 piano sonatas mark an evolutionary stage in classical sonata form at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. Koželuch was a pupil of the pianist František Xaver Dušek, one of the leading music teachers of his day and a major figure in Prague's musical life in the latter half of the 18th century. Among the outstanding figures of Viennese classicism was Jan Václav Hugo Vořišek. Another highly esteemed Bohemian composer, Antonín Rejcha, worked in Paris. His fugues paved the way for this baroque form to enter the modern piano repertoire.
The stylised dances of Bedřich Smetana, himself an excellent pianist, went beyond the popular genre of salon music to form the basis of the 19th-century Czech piano repertoire. Stylised dances can also be found in the piano music of Antonín Dvořák, such as his “Slavonic Dances”, originally written for piano duet. Other important contributions to Czech piano music at the fin de siècle were made by Zdenĕk Fibich, Vitĕzslav Novák and Josef Suk. Leoš Janáček left behind a piano sonata and two extraordinary cycles that belong to the core repertoire of Czech piano music. Czech composers of the 20th and 21st centuries have embraced the legacy of this tradition while incorporating and absorbing new ideas and stimuli.