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Frank Martin

Swiss Composer

Personal Life

The 20th-century composer, Frank Martin, was born in Geneva, Switzerland on September 15, 1890. He was the second child of four and his father was a portrait painter. His mother died when he was just ten years old.


Frank Martin began his musical studies at the Geneva Conservatory where he studied violin, piano, and composition. He graduated in 1911 and then went on to study in Berlin with Max Bruch. He returned to Geneva in 1914 and married his first wife, Suzanne Girard.

During World War I, Martin was drafted into the Swiss Army and served as a medic. After the war, he divorced Suzanne and married his second wife, Olga Rudge. The couple had two children together.


Martin’s compositional style was influenced by a variety of music, including folk music, Gregorian chant, and jazz. He is best known for his works for solo voice and piano, as well as his operas and orchestral pieces.

Frank Martin died in 1974 in Geneva at the age of 84.


Did You Know?

Change of tone today with a melody that will surely speak to you on this very sad rainy day! This is an opportunity to introduce you to Franck Martin, a great name of the 20th century, a genius converted to music when listening to the deep Passion according to Bach’s St Mathieu at the age of 12. The latter became his mentor and pushed him to sacred music. For my part, I would put on an equal footing many sacred works of Bach and this Agnus Dei of Martin. You be the judge!

Frank Martin

Frank Martin Recordings


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