Orchestral Composer of the Week.

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Created on: 11 Dec 2011
Description:
Full orchestra, chamber variations, choral or other. Pick your 5 favourite composers per week and the composer with the most votes each week enters the Hall of Fame.

WELCOME TO ORCHESTRAL COMPOSER OF THE WEEK
Each week you can pick up to 5 of your favourite Orchestral composers and nominate them for the HALL OF FAME.
The composers can be classical composers or movie soundtrack composers but they must be known mainly for orchestral work (full orchestra, chamber variations or choral). Bring them all on and let's see who comes out on top.

The winning artist will be revealed each Sunday.

HALL OF FAME
Week 29 Winner - Bohuslav Martinů

Bohuslav Martinů (8 December 1890, Polička – 28 August 1959, Liestahl) was a Czech composer of modern classical music. He was very prolific, writing almost 400 pieces, among them 6 symphonies, choral works, operas, concertos, including for cello, violin, oboe and five for the piano and his chamber music, including seven string quartets. His artistic history content more creative periods, incl. postimpresionism, neo-classicism, expressionism etc.

Biography:
Bohuslav Martinů was born in a bell-tower where his father, a shoemaker by trade, was a watchman. Even as a child, he developed a reputation locally, and he gave his first public concert in his hometown in 1905. In 1906 Martinů became a violin student at the Prague Conservatory. He studied briefly there (before being dismissed for “incorrigible negligence”) and later continued to study on his own.

He spent the First World War in his hometown as a teacher, where he pursued his interests in composition. He also joined the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra as a violinist. His ballet Istar was completed in 1922. He left Czechoslovakia for Paris in 1923, where he became a pupil of Albert Roussel, though he retained many links with his birthplace.

When the German army approached Paris early in the Second World War, he fled, first to the south of France, and then to the United States in 1941, where he settled in New York with his French wife. In later life he lived in Switzerland, never returning to his homeland.

Martinů’s music displays a wide variety of influences: works such as La Revue de Cuisine (1927) are heavily influenced by jazz, while the Double Concerto for two string orchestras, piano and timpani (1938) is one of many works to show the influence of the Baroque concerto grosso. Other works are influenced by Czech folk music. He also admired the music of Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky, among other composers.

A characteristic feature of his style of orchestral writing is the near omni-present piano; most of his orchestral works include a prominent part for piano, including his small concerto for harpsichord and chamber orchestra.

The bulk of his writing from the 1930s into the 1950s was in a Neoclassical vein, but with his last works he opened up his style to include more rhapsodic gestures and a looser, more spontaneous sense of form. This is easiest to see by comparing his sixth symphony, tellingly titled Fantaisies symphoniques, and his previous efforts, all from the 1940s.

One of Martinů’s lesser known works is a piece featuring the theremin commissioned by Lucie Bigelow Rosen. Martinů started working on this commission in the summer of 1944 and finished his Fantasia for theremin, oboe, string quartet and piano on October 1, dedicating it to Mrs Rosen, who premiered the piece as theremin soloist in New York on 3 November 1945, along with the Koutzen Quartet and Robert Boom.

PREVIOUS WINNERS
Gustav Mahler - Benjamin Britten
Claude Debussy - Leoš Janáček
Camille Saint-Saëns - Giacomo Puccini
Hector Berlioz - Gustav Holst
Ralph Vaughan Williams (UK Week) - Wojciech Kilar
Johannes Brahms - Giuseppe Verdi
Franz Liszt - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russia Week)
Antonín Dvořák - Sergei Prokofiev
Edvard Grieg - Sergei Rachmaninoff
George Gershwin (USA Week) - Richard Wagner
Dmitri Shostakovich - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Frédéric Chopin - Johann Sebastian Bach
Antonio Vivaldi - John Williams
Ludwig van Beethoven - Howard Shore

***

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  • Slim_rafa

    hey folks

    27 Dec 2013 Reply
  • matusak

    it's good berlioz did it to the hall of fame :) to me, his music doesn't say too much (it's a bit to "loud and big"), but from the historical point of view he was one of the most influential composers of symphonic music of all times (besides Beethoven, Mahler, Schostakovich....)

    14 Jun 2012 Reply
  • PetarA

    ALARGIC: Original Symphony Orchestra Scores. All material fully available for stream and promotional free download: http://www.alargic.com

    7 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Biscuit1978

    Themed weeks every 5th week from Week 10 will focus on individual countries.

    4 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Decrescendo

    Happy New Year! (:

    1 Jan 2012 Reply
  • JeanLuis13

    John Powell! love him!

    17 Dec 2011 Reply
  • Biscuit1978

    I'll have to check them out a bit further but from first look they will probably be ok.

    14 Dec 2011 Reply
  • DepartureSong

    Will people like Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish) or Mark Jansen (Epica) qualify? Both are metal musicians but work extensively with the symphonies and orchestras in their music.

    14 Dec 2011 Reply
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