1921 - 1930

1922 - Experiences madrigals of the English Renaissance for the first time, in a performance by The English Singers. Begins studying composition with Josef Suk. Composes the ballet Kdo je na svete nejmocnějsi? (Who Is the Most Powerful in the World?)

1923 - In October travels to Paris to study composition with Albert Roussel.

1923-1940 - Lives in Paris as a freelance composer, usually spending the summer months in Policka.

1924 - In the summer in Policka composes the orchestral rondo Half-Time - his first mature work. Its premiere by the Czech Philharmonic under Vaclav Talich causes a scandal. Martinu has to defend himself against charges that this work plagiarizes Stravinsky's Petrushka. In the National Theater in Prague the premiere of his full-length ballet Istar (1918-21).

1925 - Composes the String Quartet No. 2, a work that makes a name for him internationally and is published by Universal Edition in Vienna. Premiere of  Kdo je na svete nejmocnějsi? in Brno's National Theater, together with the premiere of Janacek's opera Prihody lisky Bystrousky (The Cunning Little Vixen).

1926 - Meets Charlotte Quennehen, his future wife. Composes La bagarre (The Uproar) for large orchestra.

1927 - Completes his first opera, Vojak a tanecnice (The Soldier and the Dancer) and the jazz ballet La revue de cuisine (The Kitchen Revue). Meets JUDr. Milos Safranek, his future aid and biographer. In November the premiere of  La Bagarre by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Establishment of  'L'ecole de Paris', whose members are Martinu, Mihalovici, Beck, Harsanyi, and later also Tansman and Tcherepnin.

1928 - The ballet Vzpoura (The Revolt) and the opera Vojak a tanecnice premiered at the National Theater in Brno. More international successes: the Piano Concerto No. 1 is performed in the 'Concerts Colonne' in Paris, Talich conducts La Bagarre in London, the Jazz Suite is performed at the festival in Baden-Baden, the String Quartet No. 2 is played in a festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music in Siena, the String Quintet is premiered at the Elisabeth Sprague Coolidge Festival in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and La symphonie (later renamed La rhapsodie) is premiered in Boston.

1929 - Completes the opera-film Les trois souhaits (The Three Wishes). On 29 October the stock market crash in New York and beginning of the world depression.

1930 - Composes 5 Pieces breves for piano trio and the Concerto No. 1 for Violoncello and Orchestra, which is premiered by Gaspar Cassado in Berlin. For financial reasons interrupts work on the full-length opera Le jour de bonte (The Day of Good Deeds) shortly before completing the second act. (The torso was performed in its world premiere more than seventy years later, on 28 March 2003 in Ceske Budejovice.)