Bohuslav Martinu ─ The Compulsion to Compose
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Bohemian composer Bohuslav Martinu (1890 to 1959) was exceptionally prolific, creating more than 400 highly imaginative and well-crafted compositions, including symphonies, operas, ballet scores, and other orchestral works. In the United States from 1941 to 1953, he enjoyed a brilliant reputation, and his works were played by almost every major orchestra. Yet today they are rarely performed. In Bohuslav Martinu: The Compulsion to Compose, F. James Rybka offers a riveting and fully documented explanation for Martinu's remarkable output: he had asperger syndrome. Indeed, Martinu is believed to be the first composer ever to be documented with an autistic spectrum disorder. In this unique biography, Rybka follows Martinu's life from his birth in Policka, Bohemia, and tutelage in composition studies under the great Albert Roussel to his escape from Nazis and subsequent rise as an internationally recognized composer whose works premiered in Boston, Prague, London, and Basel.

Rybka carefully explains how the dynamics of Asperger syndrome affected the composer's work, allowing readers to appreciate more deeply Martinu's musical accomplishments and legacy. Containing important letters and photographs, this book will inspire and inform those interested in the unique relationship between autism and music, and encourage readers not only to see Martinu in an entirely different light but appreciate the musical genius that shone so brightly.
F. James Rybka, now retired, graduated from Cornell Medical School and became a plastic surgeon, Bohuslav Martinu was a close family friend.