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Igor Stravinksy

  • Date Submitted: 10/04/2011 03:32 PM
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Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky was born on June 17, 1882 in Oranienbaum, Russia. While his father was a star singer of the Imperial Opera, he wanted Igor to have a professional stable lifestyle, so he was predestined to become a bureaucrat. The young Stravinsky began piano lessons and later studied music theory and tried some composition. In 1890, Stravinsky witnessed a performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theater; the recital, his first exposure to an orchestra, captivated him. At fourteen, he had mastered Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto in G minor, and the next year, he finished a piano reduction of one of Alexander Glazunov's string quartets (“Stravinsky Biography”).   In 1901, he began to study law at the St. Petersburg University, but was never suited for it. He only took fifty classes in four years, and due to the closing of the university in 1905, he could not finish his finals, earning him only half a diploma in 1906. Stravinsky met Rimsky-Korsakov, one of Russian's leading nationalist composers, and on his father's death later that same year, he began his formal musical composition studies (Sherrane). In 1905, he started to take private classes twice a week with Korsakov and they lasted until 1908. He also was in an arranged marriage with his cousin Katerina Nossenko and they ended up having two children, Fyodor and Ludmilla (Gifford).   In 1909, his composition Feu d'artifice (Fireworks) was performed in Saint Petersburg, where it was heard by Sergei Diaghilev, the director of the Ballets Russes in Paris. Diaghilev was sufficiently impressed to hire Stravinsky to carry out some orchestrations, and then to compose a full-length ballet score called The Firebird. Stravinsky traveled to Paris in 1910 to attend the premier, where his family soon joined him and decided to stay around for a while (Gifford).
He moved shortly after to Clarens, Switzerland until 1920 where he composed three further works of Ballets Russes. The...

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