Oranienbaum, Russia, 1882 — New York City, New York, USA, 1971

  • Composer

Raised in an artistic environment, Igor Stravinsky was immersed in the world of music theatre from an early age. Between 1905 and 1908, he studied orchestration with Rimsky-Korsakov. His encounter with Diaghilev ushered in a period of composition strongly influenced by Russian folklore and stylistically revolutionary traits. His collaboration with the founder of the Ballets Russes led him to Paris where the ballet Le Sacre du printemps, choreographed by Nijinski, was premiered to great scandal on May 29th, 1913. Works from this period in Stravinsky’s life proved a profound influence on musical composition in the first half of the twentieth century. Exiled to Switzerland during the First World War, Stravinsky returned to France, where he lived between 1919 and 1939. In addition to his work as a composer, he performed as a pianist and conductor. After the onset of the Second World War in 1939, he moved to the United States, where he gave guest lectures on musical poetics. He settled in Hollywood, and became an American citizen in 1945. The conclusion of the war also signaled a setting aside of the hostility Stravinsky had harbored for the chromatic style of Arnold Schoenberg, and he subsequently integrated serial techniques in his own work. After his death in New York, Stravinsky was buried in Venice, proving one final time that he was above all, a citizen of the world. His work was consistently based on a certain refusal to bow to the conventions of a musical environment that he, nonetheless, and more than anyone else, played a key role in shaping.

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