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Bohuslav Martinů


About this Artist

Born: 1890, Policka, Bohemia
Died: 1959, Liestal, Switzerland

“We do not see the whole, but the artist must express the whole!”

For the first 11 years of his life, Martinu and his family lived atop a church tower, where his father was a bell ringer. The sense of isolation and perspective he had there remained with him throughout life, influencing his idiosyncratic and eclectic bent for the stylistic sampling of everything from Renaissance polyphony to jazz. He composed prolifically in all forms and genres, including pioneering film scores and operas for film, radio, and television. His music is rhythmically robust, often sprung across meters, and harmonically bold against a generally tonal background.