Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
Born in Policka (Czech Republic) on December 8 at top of a bell tower where he lives with his parents until the age of 13.
Begins violin lessons with local tailor, Josef Cernovsky.
Composes his first opus, a programmatic string quartet, The Three Riders.
Violin studies at Prague Conservatory
Dismissed from the Conservatoire for ‘incorrigible negligence’
Passes State music exam and begins teaching violin. Violinist at Czech Philharmonic in Prague, touring
Enters Josef Suk’s masterclass at Prague Conservatoire.
Composition studies with Albert Roussell in Paris
Composer in Paris.
Meets future wife Charlotte Quennehen, a dressmaker.
Marries Charlotte. Elected member of Czech Academy of Arts and Sciences.
String Sextet wins Coolidge Foundation Price for Composition in Washington.
Julietta premiered at National Theatre in Prague.
Emigration via Southern France / Aix-en-Provance to the U.S. Has to leave many of his manuscripts behind.
Arrives in New York. Concentrates on composing, amongst others symphonies, and soon is in great demand as composition teacher.
Martinů obtains American citizenship.
Becomes Professor of Composition at Mannes School of Music, New York
Visiting Professor at Princeton University.
Settles in Nice with Charlotte and then lives alternately in France, Italy and primarily Switzerland (in Rennweg, Basel, and Frenkendorf near Liestal/Basel). In Switzerland he composes more than 20 works until his death, such as Chamber Music No. 1, variations on a Slovakian theme for cello and piano, Nonet, Piano Concerto No. 5, the orchestral works The Parables and Estampes, Concerto for two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani, several works for choir and the operas Ariadne and The Greek Passion.
Begins composing The Greek Passion.
Martinů dies in Liestal near Basel on 28 August.
While abroad Martinů composed six works for Paul and/or Maja, amongst others Toccata e due Canzoni for chamber orchestra and The Epic of Gilgamesh for chorus and orchestra.