Martinů, Bohuslav (1890–1959) By Svatos, Thomas
Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959). Czech composer of Austro-Hungarian, Czechoslovak and American citizenship. He left his native Polička in Eastern Bohemia in 1906 to study violin at the Prague Conservatory. Although initially expelled for negligence, he transferred to the organ department and passed his state examinations in 1912. He continued residing in Prague until 1923, playing as a deputy violinist with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra from 1913 and then as a full member under Václav Talich during the years 1920–23. Largely self-taught in composition, he studied briefly with Josef Suk during the years 1922–23 and with Albert Roussel from the time of his arrival in Paris in 1923; he remained in the French capital until 1940.