Bohuslav Martinů


Bohuslav Jan Martinů (1890-1959) was a Czech composer of modern classical music. He wrote 6 symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works. He became a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and briefly studied under Czech composer and violinist Josef Suk. After leaving Czechoslovakia in 1923 for Paris, Martinů deliberately withdrew from the Romantic style in which he had been trained. During the 1920s he experimented with modern French stylistic developments. He also adopted jazz idioms. In the early 1930s he found his main fount for compositional style: neoclassicism, creating textures far denser than those found in composers treating Stravinsky as a model. His symphonic career began when he emigrated to the United States in 1941, fleeing the German invasion of France. Eventually Martinů returned to live in Europe for two years starting in 1953, then was back in New York until returning to Europe in May 1956. He died in Switzerland in August 1959.

Albums from Bohuslav Martinů