Bohuslav Martinu

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Martinů, Bohuslav


Born Dec. 8, 1890, in Policka, Bohemia; died Aug. 28, 1959, in Liestal, near Basel. Czech composer and important figure in music.

From 1906 to 1912, Martinu studied violin and organ at the Prague Conservatory. He continued his training at the conservatory’s Advanced School in 1922 and 1923, studying there under J. Suk. In 1923 and 1924 he studied with A. Roussel in Paris. Between 1923 and 1940, Martinu lived in France, Italy, and Switzerland, yet at the same time he retained ties with his homeland. (In 1931 he became a member of the Czech Academy of Arts.) In 1941 he moved to the United States, where he taught composition at Princeton University.

Martinu’s work is very diverse in terms of both genre and musical language. Displaying masterful composition technique, the composer combined the traditions of A. Dvorak and J. Suk with some of the methods of French impressionism, the anti-romantic traditions of A. Honegger, and the rhythmic innovations of I. F. Stravinsky. Martinu was one of the leading Czech composers of the 20th century. His work is marked by fully developed polyphony, rhythmic sharpness, and elements of humor. In his works of the 1940’s and 1950’s, national elements became more pronounced and deep contemplative moods and a strongly dramatic quality appeared (patriotic work Memorial to Lidice, 1943).

Martinu wrote 13 operas (Juliette, 1938; Ariadne, 1958), ten ballets (Revolt, 1925; Judgment of Paris, 1935), symphonic works (six symphonies), concerti with orchestra, chamber music (six string quartets), vocal compositions, and piano pieces.


1938-1945. Prague, 1947.
Domov, hudba, a svet. Prague, 1966.


Šafránek, M. B. Martinu: Šivot a dÍlo. Prague, 1961.
Martinu, Ch. Muj šivot s Bohuslavem Martinu. Prague, 1971.
References in periodicals archive ?
THE GREEK PASSION Bohuslav Martinu New production, sung in English with English titles IN a remote Greek community, the villagers are casting roles for the upcoming Passion play.
Bohuslav Martinu: Juliette (The Key to Dreams) (American premiere, concert performance).
Another volume from the Bohuslav Martinu Complete Edition (BMCE) has been released by Barenreiter.
Better choices might have been Bohuslav Martinu's Gilgamesh, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Michael Tippet's A Child of Our Time, or even Igor Stravinsky's Symphonie de psaumes.
Piano performances of 19th- and 20th-century Czech music, the Lithuanian pianists Indre Baikstyte and Gintaras Janusevicius performing Bohuslav Martinu's Double Concerto on two pianos and much more.
Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu uu used his own awkwardly unidiomatic English libretto based on Greek novelist Nikos Kazanzakis' Christ Recrucified.
353 by Bohuslav Martinu, Adagio for strings by Savvas Savva and Concerto for strings quartet and orchestra, op.
at 7.30pm features three of the great composer's works, opuses 95, 96 and 97, the latter being the Piano Trio in B flat, Archduke, while a 10pm concert called Postcards from America offers works by John Williams, Tibor Serly, Elliott Carter and La Revue de Cuisine by Bohuslav Martinu.
But his upcoming schedule mainly has him on international stages again--in Zurich for a new production of Bohuslav Martinu's Juliette (Feb./Mar.), in Dallas for performances of the Mozart Requiem (Apr.) and, after Montreal, back in Munich for a new production of Strauss's Arabella (Jul.).
The orchestra has given world premieres of more than 100 works, including compositions by Jean Francaix, Frank Martin, Bohuslav Martinu, Sandor Veress, Iannis Xenakis, Krzysztof Penderecki, Klaus Huber, Peter Ruzicka and Beat Furrer.
On Thursday (February 13), Ensemble 360 will play at St Paul's (1.15pm) for the second time this year with a programme of music by Leo Janacek and Bohuslav Martinu for flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet and viola.
Choreographed in the mid-1980s by Dutchman Nils Christie, with dark and mysterious music by Bohuslav Martinu, it was reminiscent of vampires or ravens.