Obituary: Opera Conductor František Babický Passes Away at 84

By Afton Wooten

 Photo credit: Jakub Kabeš

Czech conductor František Babický died unexpectedly at age 84 on April 17.

Babický began his career as a professional pianist after graduating from the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts. There he studied conducting under Bohumír Liška. In 1964, he was named choirmaster and later conductor at the South Bohemian Theatre. Babický went on to work as the lead conductor at the Zdeněk Nejedlý State Theatre (North Bohemian Theatre of Opera and Ballet), conductor and head of opera at the F. X. Šalda Liberec,  was the chief conductor of the Army Art Ensemble in Prague, the Hradec Králové Philharmonic, and many more. Since 2010, he has served as a professor of opera conducting at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Prague.

The multi-talented musician performed as a pianist and conductor at the Prague Spring Festival repeatedly. Babický focused on Verismo and the works of Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana. In 2019, he was awarded the honorary citizenship of the city of Liberec for his continued contribution to the development of the city in the arts.

Babický is survived by his son. There have been no public arrangements announced at this time.