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 ?
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.
1 by NikolaIe Economou, Sonatina for violin and piano by Bohuslav Martinu, Alfred Schnittke's Suite in the old Style for violin and piano, Mozart's Sonata in G major K.
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.
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.
She was awarded the Bohuslav Martinu prize at the Czech and Slovak International Voice Competition in 2009 and received First Prize in the District and Regional rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2010 and 2011.
They will be playing works by Mozart and Bohuslav Martinu.
The organisation of the meeting is being prepared in the collaboration with other institutions as National Library, Municipal Library of Prague, and the Bohuslav Martinu Institute.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT [Cantatas by Bohuslav Martinu and Vitezslava Kapralova]
Specifically, we presented exhibitions on the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu, writer Karel Capek, and photographer Frantisek Drtikol.
Their concert includes music by the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu, from whom the quartet take their name, and Dvorak.
Next year sees the 50th anniversary of the death of the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu, and the Skampas mark the occasion by beginning their concert with the last, and in some ways the most approachable, of his string quartets, the Concerto da camera.