In 1937 she received a scholarship to study in France, at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, and became a pupil of Charles Munch (1937-1939) and briefly also of Nadia Boulanger (spring 1940?). She also studied composition as a private student of Bohuslav Martinů (1937-1939) whose Harpsichord Concerto she conducted in Paris (1938). Her award-winning Military Sinfonietta, premiered in Prague in 1937 by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by the composer, opened the 1938 ISCM Festival in London. At this occasion, Kaprálová conducted the work with the BBC Orchestra.
Following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939 Kaprálová decided to stay in exile in France. In April 1940, she married the writer Jiří Mucha. Only two months later her marriage and musical career were cut short by her tragic death in Montpellier, allegedly from miliary tuberculosis. Her music was critically acclaimed during her lifetime and continues to be praised by music historians today: "There is no doubt that had she lived she would have become one of the greatest women composers in Europe." (Hartog, Howard [Ed.]: European Music in the Twentieth Century.
Penguin Books: 1961. P. 322). In 1946, in appreciation of her distinctive contribution, the foremost academic institution in the country - the Czech Academy of Arts and Sciences - awarded Kaprálová membership in memoriam (by 1948 this honour was bestowed on only 10 women, out of 648 members of the Academy).
In 1981, the same institution appraised her work as "representing a distinctive and progressive moment in the development of Czech music in the first half of the twentieth century." (History of Czech Music Culture 1890-1945, p. 289). In 1999, after the release of the composer's landmark CD by Studio Matous, BBC Music Magazine (June 1999) hailed Kaprálová as "a genuinely fascinating voice in inter-war Czech music". Read more on Last.fm.
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