“Jiri Belohlavek, chief conductor and music director of the Czech Philharmonic orchestra, has died, his family said Thursday. He was 71,” states an unsigned Associated Press report on Thursday (6/1). “The 71-year-old musician, who died Wednesday in Prague, had suffered an unspecified serious long-term illness … Belohlavek will be remembered above all his interpretations of the music by Czech composers including Bohuslav Martinů, Antonin Dvorák, Leos Janacek, Josef Suk and Bedrich Smetana. At home, Belohlavek was in charge of several Czech orchestras, including Brno Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra and Prague Philharmonia. Abroad, he cooperated with leading musical ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, New York Philharmonic and others. In 2006-2012, he was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the honor of Commander of the British Empire. He conducted Dvorák’s Requiem in his last appearance with the BBC SO on April 13. … He was also guest principal guest conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013. ‘Music was my life,’ Belohlavek once said. ‘I even feel joy when I read it.’ His survived by his wife and two daughters. Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.”

Posted June 1, 2017