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Igor Stravinsky


Igor Stravinsky lived from 1882 to 1971, a period marked by technological advancements in practically every social, political, and industrial infrastructure. Victorian influences were prevalent throughout this time period, as were two big international wars that reshaped global boundaries and a musical revolution that swept Western civilization.1)


Stravinsky's mother was a talented pianist and his father was a vocalist with the Imperial Orchestra. They both desired that Igor follow a bureaucratic profession, so he studied law at the University of St. Petersburg before opting to pursue a career as a musician.2)


While in university, he met the son of composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (whose reputation for orchestration and instruction at the St. Petersburg Conservatory was legendary), and after the death of his own father in 1902, he became his pupil.3)

Apprentice At Korsakov

He became an apprentice and received intensive home teaching from Rimsky-Korsakov rather than studying music in a regular setting. Stravinsky created and dedicated his Symphony in E-Flat and Pastorale to him and his wife, respectively.4)


Fireworks, one of Stravinsky's most famous pieces, was written as a wedding present for Rimsky's daughter. This orchestral fantasy work from 1908 is still popular today. Most reviewers see this little four-minute composition as his first completely distinctive work, free of any instructor's influence.5)


Despite the lackluster reaction, Diaghilev noticed the novelty of Fireworks and commissioned arrangements for Russian ballets being performed in Paris.6)


Stravinsky was strongly affected by the ensemble of musicians Diaghilev recruited during those years, allowing him to explore his unconventionality. Firebird, Petrushka, and Rite of Spring, the three ballets he composed at the period, were extraordinarily unusual, astonished audiences, and immediately became classics.7)


He moved to Switzerland with his wife, Catherine Nossenko, whom he married in 1906, and their four children at the outbreak of World War I and the subsequent Russian revolution.8)


Homesickness drove him to incorporate Russian folklore and jazz elements into his works while in Switzerland. Renard was one of his most well-known works at the time.9)

White Ballet

The Stravinsky family relocated to France in 1920, and he worked there over the following two decades, composing an opera-oratorio and “white” ballet that, according to critics, both transcended and defined the neo-classical period.10)

Symphony Of Psalms

He composed the Symphony of Psalms in 1930, a choral composition for men and boys that did not use violins. 11)

After Wife's Death

After the death of his wife in 1939, he traveled to the United States, although continuing to produce prolific works during his stay in France.12)


In 1940, Stravinsky gave a series of lectures at Harvard University.13)

Symphony In C

Symphony in C, one of his most major pieces, was finished in 1940.14)

Vera De Bosset

In 1940, Stravinsky married Vera de Bosset for the second time. His relationship with her began in 1921, and they both became citizens of the United States in 1945.15)

igor_stravinsky.txt · Last modified: 2022/01/25 02:20 by eziothekilla34