Ballet AZ Blog

Learn About the Composer

Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky was born on June 17th, 1882 in Orianenbaum, as small Russian resort on the Gulf of Finland. During his childhood, he spent it near St. Petersburg. Fyodor Ignatievich Stravinsky, Igor’s father, was first bass of the Imperial Opera, and his mother had extremely high standards, who was an excellent pianist. The Stravinsky home attracted many artists, allowing Igor to grow up in a highly cultured atmosphere. At the age of nine, Igor had begun piano lessons. In addition to that, he was able to attend performances at Imperial Mariinsky Theater, where his father performed.

One of the most significant events of Igor’s childhood, was during his father’s performance, when he say Tchaikovsky. Later explaining that, his experience, “strengthened my desire to become a composer”. Surprisingly, Igor’s parents didn’t want him to pursue a career in music, but in law after his secondary studies. While at university, Igor met Vladimir Rimsky-Korsakov, who was the youngest of a the composer. After becoming friends, Igor was able to show Rimsky-Korsakov is first compositions. Rimsky-Korsakov later gave Igor private lessons after discovering his true talent.

After Igor’s father’s death in 1902, he became financially independent and completed his law studies in 1905. In 1906 Igor married, Catherine Nossenko, and had four children. Both had known each other since childhood, and had many of the same interests. Catherine, a fantastic musician, was a vital aid to Igor. She would read and copy all of his scores.

When 1909 came around, Sergei Diaghilev, the director of Ballets Russes- found Igor’s compositions. Impressed with, specifically, Scherzo Fantastique and Fireworks, Sergei pushed Igor to compose for Ballets Russes. Over the course, of the next twenty years, Igor and Sergei remained friends and impresario. At only the age of twenty-eight, Igor was when he marked his triumph to fame.

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