Antonín Dvorák Prize 2020 Goes to Famed Soprano

By David Salazar

The Academy of Classical Music has announced that that annual Antonín Dvorák Prize will be given to soprano Gabriela Beňačková for her lifelong service to the legacy of the famed composer.

The soprano will be presented with the award at Prague’s Rudolfinum on April 21, 2020 in a gala concert that will feature a recital by Polish tenor Piotr Beczala.

Beňačková has made the Czech Republic her home for several years, joining the Czech National Theatre in 1970 as Natasha in “War and Peace.” She would go on to become a major champion of Czech repertory, with many seeing her as the definitive interpreter of the role of Marenka in “The Bartered Bride;” her recording of the opera with conductor Zdenek Kosler is seem as one of the most popular.

She has also performed major roles by Janácek and was a well-known “Rusalka.” In 1994, she recorded an album made up of Czech music by Dvorák, Janácek, and Martinu alongside pianist Rudolf Firkunsny; that album was nominated for a Grammy.

“It is my great pleasure, thank you,” Beňačková said in a pres release. “I think that Antonín Dvořák would be satisfied with how I presented his work throughout the world.”

Pats recipients of the award have included Yo-Yo Ma, Josef Suk, Ivan Moravec, and Jiri Belohlavek, among others.