Martinů, Bohuslav

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Martinů, Bohuslav

Bohuslav Martinů (bô´hŏŏsläf mär´tĬnōō), 1890–1959, Czech composer; studied at the Prague Conservatory. He played the violin (1918–23) in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Martinů lived in Prague from 1907 to 1923, in Paris from 1923 to 1940 and, fleeing the Nazis, moved to the United States in 1941. After 1946 he divided his time among Prague, Switzerland, and the United States, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1952. Extremely prolific, he was both analytical and intuitive in his composing style. Outstanding among his works are the operas The Miracle of Our Lady (1935) and Julietta (1938), a Concerto Grosso (1938), Symphony No. 6 (Fantaisies Symphoniques, 1955), Memorial to Lidice (1943) for orchestra, and a number of powerful quartets.

See biography by B. Large (1975).

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