Jiří Bělohlávek, the conductor and champion of Czech music internationally, has been awarded this year's Antonín Dvořák Prize. He will receive the prestigious award this Sunday at a special ceremony held in one of the world's most famous concert halls – Carnegie Hall in New York. It was in this hall that Dvořák's 'New World' symphony was first performed, and where Bělohlávek will be leading the Czech Philharmonic in a performance of the iconic work on Sunday afternoon. Bělohlávek and the orchestra have been performing the work on their current US tour to great critical acclaim. The Dvořák Prize is awarded by the Czech Academy of Classical Music, organizers of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival.
Jiří Bělohlávek, who recently recorded an exceptional collection of the complete Dvořák symphonies, will receive the award from the Czech Minister of Culture, Daniel Herman, in the presence of leading cultural, social, and political figures of the Czech Republic and the United States. The ceremony will be attended by the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic Jan Hamáček, Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser, philanthropist and founder of KKCG investment group Karel Komárek, and Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall Clive Gillinson. Dvořák's grandson, Antonín Dvořák III, will also be present at the ceremony.
'Looking after the legacy, and promoting the works of Antonín Dvořák is the chief aim of the Academy of Classical Music and the Dvořák Prague festival. We are proud that the prize-giving ceremony is taking place in such an august institution as Carnegie Hall, which is indelibly linked to Dvořák's life and work,' says Robert Kolář, Director of the Academy of Classical Music. The award, a glass statuette of a cello, was designed by architect Jiří Pelcl and made by the Moser glassmakers.
The Czech Philharmonic concert and Dvořák Prize ceremony are part of an official presentation of Czech culture in the United States, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and in recognition ofthe Year of Czech Music 2014.
The decision by a jury of experts to award the prize to Bělohlávek was unanimous. The internationally-respected conductor this year recorded the complete Dvořák symphonies for Decca Classics. He is also the President of the Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music.