Constance Navratil, a presence in the Baton Rouge classical music scene and host of the WRKF Sunday show “LSU School of Music Presents,” died Monday.
Navratil was in the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center emergency room awaiting treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident when she suffered a heart attack, friend Sue Brys said.
“She and (husband) Boris were on their way to St. Francisville when the accident occurred,” Brys said. “They were going to eat out.”
She said Boris Navratil has been kept in the hospital’s trauma unit since Monday.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Navratil’s radio career began as program director of classical music at WJBO-FM. She became director of WRKF when the public radio station first aired in 1980, according to the station’s website.
A graduate of Trinity College of Music in London, she earned her master’s degree in voice from LSU.
She has performed locally with the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Louisiana Sinfonietta, the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans and in leading roles with the Baton Rouge Opera, Jerome Mines’ “I Am the Way,” the Baton Rouge Little Theatre, LSU Summer Dinner Theatre and the Gilbert & Sullivan Society, according to WRKF.
She directed musicals for Baton Rouge Magnet High School, served on boards of music organizations, wrote Discovery Concerts for the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and in was presented with the East Baton Rouge Mayor-President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Brys said Navratil met her husband when both were taking a French class in London. Boris Navratil had moved to London to escape communism in his native Czechoslovakia.
“He had a scholarship to the LSU Law School and moved here,” Brys said. “But they kept writing each other, and two or three years later, she moved here and they married.”