Igor Stravinsky

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Igor Fedorovich Stravinsky (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a Russian-born composer of the 20th Century. He spent significant amounts of his time in France and later went to the United States where he lived until his death in 1971.


Stravinsky was born in Oranienbaum, Russia, on June 17, 1882. His parents were both of Polish origin and his father was Fyodor Stravinsky, a bass singer with the Imperial Opera in St. Petersburg. As Stravinsky grew up, he was interested in music and he began taking lessons in piano and harmony at age nine. However, his father wanted him to go into law because it was a more stable profession. Following his father's wishes, Stravinsky studied law at the University of St. Petersburg and graduated in 1905. From 1902 until 1908, he studied music under Rimsky-Korsakov, whose son he had met and befriended. When Rimsky-Korsakov had his students perform one of their works, Stravinsky chose to perform his Fireworks, which sparked the interest of Sergei Diaghilev. Diaghilev commissioned some of Stravinksy's most famous works, including The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913).

Major works