Being a composer is a dangerous game. Look at Alkan. He died in 1888 when taking a copy of the Talmud from a bookshelf only to have the entire bookcase topple over on top of him. Two years later, the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu (above) was born, only to spend an extraordinary childhood living in a tiny room high atop a church tower. He can't have developed much of a head for heights though because years later he fell off a balcony in Philadelphia. Happily, he survived but he never really recovered. He was astonishingly prolific, and this weekend with the BBC Symphony Orchestra is the perfect introduction encompassing symphonies, the opera The Greek Passion, the cello concerto, songs, chamber music plus three talks, a film and La Revue de Cuisine, a ballet about the wedding of a saucepan and a lid complicated by a jealous whisk.
Martinu Weekend, The Barbican, London EC1 (0171-638 8891) 7.30pm