It is perhaps understandable that a person who was born into the world to the accompaniment of festive bells would have grown up to become a great musician. Such, indeed, was the case of the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů.
Bohuslav's father was the bell ringer and watchman in the little Bohemian town of Polička. His job was to act as fire watcher for the village and to ring the church bells for prayers and festive occasions. Thus it was that in the small tower room of the church of St. James, where the Martinůs lived, on the public holiday of 8 December 1890, Bohuslav was born with the sound of church bells ringing joyously all round him.
Young Bohuslav, who was tall, thin, and ...more