The Panocha Quartet will receive the Antonín Dvořák Prize in the Spanish Hall

The members of the Panocha Quartet have been named the laureates of the Antonín Dvořák Prize for 2023 by the Academic Council. They were awarded the prize for their lifetime of work, their contribution to the care of Antonín Dvořák's legacy, and for spreading the good name of Czech music throughout the world. The organiser chose the representative premises of Prague Castle and the date of 29 November 2023 for the award ceremony, which will be highlighted by an attractive performance by 12 cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

"The Panocha Quartet has always been a great ambassador of Czech musical culture. It has been active on the international scene in an unchanged line-up for more than fifty years and is one of the top representatives of chamber music performance. From its countless recordings, to name a reference performance of all of Dvořák's string quartets, there can be no doubt that the Antonín Dvořák Prize is in the right hands," said Jan Simon, Intendant of the Academy of Classical Music and Chairman of the Council of Academicians.

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In the course of their artistic career, which began in 1968, the Panocha Quartet has not only given numerous concerts on domestic stages, but also hundreds of performances in prestigious venues around the world. They have won countless domestic and international awards for dozens of gramophone and perhaps hundreds of radio recordings, whose programme axis was the music of Antonín Dvořák and other Czech composers (including a reference set of Dvořák's string quartets and quintets).

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The protagonists of the gala concert at which the Antonín Dvořák Prize will be presented to the Panocha Quartet are the world-famous ensemble of 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The ensemble, which consists exclusively of members of the cello group of this outstanding orchestra, will perform in the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle on Wednesday 29 November 2023 at 7 pm. The programme of the concert is dedicated not only to the works of Antonín Dvořák, but will also include works by Verdi, Debussy, Gershwin and a glimpse into the world of film music.

Antonín Dvořák Prize

The Antonín Dvořák Prize is a prestigious award in the field of classical music. It is intended to highlight people, artistic collectives, or institutions for exceptional artistic achievements or significant merit in promoting and popularising Czech classical music in the Czech Republic and abroad. Winners have been announced by the Academy of Classical Music since 2009.

The first laureate of the prize was the great-grandson of the composer Antonín Dvořák, the violinist, violist, and conductor Josef Suk. Following him were such figures as the pianist Ivan Moravec, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the world-famous choreographer and dancer Jiří Kylián. In the past, the importance of the prize has been underscored by the special places and occasions of its presentation. The soprano Ludmila Dvořáková received the Antonín Dvořák Prize in the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle during a recital by the pianist Lang Lang, the conductor Jiří Bělohlávek was given the prize in 2014 at Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Czech Philharmonic received it at its concert celebrating 100 years of Czech statehood at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

Laureates of the Antonín Dvořák Prize receive a glass sculpture of a cello designed by the architect Jiří Pelcl and produced by the glassmakers from the company Moser.

Charter and Schedule

The awarding of the Antonín Dvořák Prize is governed by a charter. You can download the charter in its full wording here.

Academic Council

Since 2012, the Academic Council has made the decisions on awarding the Antonín Dvořák Prize. The Academic Council consists of important figures of Czech cultural life and classical music, and it decides on nominations and the actual selection of winners of the Antonín Dvořák Prize.

  • Petr Altrichter, conductor
  • David Beveridge, musicologist
  • Jakub Čížek, director of Prague Radio Symphony
  • Věra Drápelová, music publicist
  • Jakub Hrůša, Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic
  • Ivo Kahánek, pianist, educator HAMU
  • Ivan Klánský, pianist, Dean of the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), holder of the Antonín Dvořák Prize 2017
  • Jiří Kylián, choreographer, holder of the Antonín Dvořák Prize 2013
  • David Mareček, general director of the Czech Philharmonic, pianist
  • Tomáš Motl, executive director of the ČT art channel
  • Jan Simon, artistic director of the Academy of Classical Music, pianist
  • Luboš Stehlík, the editor-in-chief of the magazine Harmonie, music publicist
  • Jiří Vejvoda, music publicist