At the beginning of the year 1892 Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) decided to stay for a longer time in America to work there as director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York. To fulfil the wish of his numerous admirers at home, he arranged a series of 'farewell' concerts in various towns of Bohemia and Moravia. The concerts, held between January 3rd and May 29th 1892, took place in more than 40 towns. Dvorak asked his collegues from the teaching staff of the Prague Conservatory, the violinist Ferdinand Lachner and the violoncellist Hanus Wihan (who had joined the teaching staff of Prague Conservatory in 1887) for constant musical collaboration at these concerts. Together with them he played everywhere his recently composed piano trio Dumky, opus 90 and filled out the programme with some of his older trios and minor pieces for violin or violoncello with piano accompaniment. He had however, no minor compositions for cello and piano and therefore he arranged for this instrument two of this older compositions (Silent Woods from the piano cycle From the Bohemian Forests opus 68 and the eight Slavonic Dance, opus 46. In addition to this he wrote on December 25th and 26th 1891 a new composition Rondo, to which he originally gave the opus number 92, later became opus 94. Later on during his stay in America between October 16th and 22th 1893 he arranged the piano part of his composition for a small orchestra (consisting of two oboes and bassoons, timpani and strings) without any change in its musical basis.
The result is a composition of typically Dvorak character and charm, in which the predominating melancholic traits reflect the mood of Dvorak, facing a long separation from his country. In this respect the Rondo can be considered as the beginning of the composer's so called 'American' creative period and it is not without interest that at the end of this period there stand another composition for cello and orchestra - the famous Concerto in B minor opus 104 from the years 1897-1895. The work is a fine vehicle for a virtuoso performer, and a testimony to Wihan's technical ability
As far as we know, the original version of the Rondo for cello and piano was performed for the first time by Hanus Wihan and the composer at a concert in Chrudim on January 8th 1892. Both versions, with piano and orchestral accompaniment were published in 1894.