The Life and Music of Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky was born in Russia on June 5, 1882 to Feodor Stravinsky. His first education in music came through being taught piano lessons at his home. He would later attend St. Petersburg University where he would further his musical education. His first substantial music writing was in E Flat and it was called “The Firebird.” After this show was debuted by a ballet and was a success, he wrote Petruska. His next major music scene was his third ballet called “The Rite of Spring.” This marked the beginning of modernism in music and made Stravinsky the most influential composer of that time.
After these three ballets came The Nightingale, Renard, the Soldier’s Tale, and Symphonies of Wind. All of which appeared very rapidly and Stravinsky’s success continued. In 1920, Stravinsky settled in France and took his citizenship there in 1934. However in 1938 he experienced the death of his daughter, his mother, and his wife. With the war coming quickly and the fact that it was inevitable, Stravinsky and his new fiancé immigrated to the United States. They spent a year living on the east coast while Igor lectured at Harvard University and then they moved to California where they would live out the rest of their lives.
Over the next two decades Stravinsky wrote Pulcinella, the Fairy’s Kiss, Apollon Musagete, Oedipus Rex, and the Symphonies of Pslams. Then, in 1957, Stravinsky’s music changed style’s with the production of Agon, which was the first work that grasped serialism entirely. The chief works that included Stravinsky’s serialism were Threni, the Flood, Abraham and Issac, Variations for Orchestra, and Requiem Canticles.
Stravinsky continued his career until 1967 when old age and illness kept him from working. He died on April 6, 1971.
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