120th anniversary of Charlotte Martinů's birth
Charlotte Léonie Victorine Martinů - Quennehen (1894-1978)
After her marriage with Martinů on 21 March 1931 in Paris, Charlotte experienced her husband's greatest successes as a composer at his side, but also fear during their flight from the Gestapo to America in 1941, and disappointment at post-war political developments in Czechoslovakia which prevented him from returning home. She fell in love with her husband's native country: already in 1959 - the year of his death - she began visiting it and furthering the dissemination of his musical legacy. In 1975 she was awarded honorary citizenship in the city of Polička, and two years later she founded the Společnost Bohuslava Martinů (Bohuslav Martinů Society) of which she became an honorary member. Also in 1977, she transferred rights to performance and publication of her husband's works to the newly-founded Nadace Bohuslava Martinů (Bohuslav Martinů Foundation) in Prague, and partly also to the Bohuslav Martinů Stiftung in Basel.
Charlotte Martinů died on 23 November 1978 in Villiers le Bel, France, and according to her wish to be buried with her husband in the cemetery in Polička she rests there with the Martinů family by the Church of St. Michael. A year after her death her husband's remains were brought there from his original grave in Schönenberg, Switzerland.