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Classical Composers A-Z: Bohuslav Martinu

Peter Wintersgill presents a portrait of Bohuslav Martinu, a prolific composer of all kinds of music.

8th December, 1890, in Policka, Bohemia.

Studied at Prague Conservatoire from 1906-1910, when he was expelled.

Adult Life
Studied in Paris with Roussel in 1923 at 33. He was a prolific composer of all types of music. His best opera was Juliette (1938); at this time he had joined Stravinsky and other modern composers in the style of the time.

His second piano concerto (1935) and fourth string quartet (1936) were obviously nationalistic. The Double Concerto (1938) appeared to foretell the coming of war.

During the War he wrote Memorial to Lidice (1943), - the village raised to the ground by the
Germans, - while in USA. Later came the first five symphonies, three symphonic poems and sundry choral and chamber works.

He died on 28th August, 1959, in Liestal, Switzerland, aged 70.


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