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Igor Stravinsky was a conductor, pianist, and composer born in Russia. He is considered as one of the most influential and famous 20th-century composers.
See the fact file below for more information on the Igor Stravinsky or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Igor Stravinsky worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was born on June 17, 1882, in Oranienbaum, Petrodvortsovy District, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
- Igor’s father was a well-known bass opera singer, while his mother was the daughter of an official in the Ministry of Estates of Kyiv. The family was of Russian and Polish heritage.
- Igor first attended school at The Second Saint Petersburg Gymnasium.
- In his mid-teens, he moved to the Gourevitch Gymnasium, where he learned math, history, and six languages.
- Igor attended a ballet performance of The Sleeping Beauty, which started his lifelong interest in Tchaikovsky, the composer, and in ballets.
- He started having regular piano lessons when he was nine, followed later by tuition in composition and music theory.
- In 1902, Stravinsky showed Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov some of his early pieces. The latter was impressed and agreed to take Igor as his private pupil.
- In 1906, he received a half-course diploma from St. Petersburg University after studying philosophy and law.
- Nikolay became Stravinsky’s mentor, tutoring him mainly in orchestration.
- Stravinsky played several of his student works in weekly gatherings of Rimsky-Korsakov’s class.
- In 1908, two of Igor’s orchestral works were played by the Court Orchestra.
- In February 1909, his orchestral piece Scherzo fantastique was performed at a concert in St. Petersburg.
- Serge Diaghilev, an impresario, was enthralled by the potential Igor showed in his piece that he hired Igor for several orchestral arrangements for his Ballet Russes in Paris.
- In 1910, Igor was commissioned again to write a musical score for a full-length ballet about the Firebird.
- Stravinsky became known as one of the most gifted younger generation composers after the premiere of The Firebird on June 25, 1910, at the Paris Opéra.
- Stravinsky continued working with Diaghilev and had a series of outstanding collaborations with the company.
- In 1911, he started writing a type of symphonic pagan ritual, The Rite of Spring. The composition was first performed on May 29, 1913, at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées.
- The performance was so sensational that it caused a near-riot on its premiere.
- In 1910, Stravinsky brought his family to France.
- The activities of Ballet Russes in Western Europe were disrupted by WWI, stopping his work with the company. The family was also stranded in Switzerland.
- Stravinsky then started exploring a more serious and restrained, but still colorfully rhythmic, type of musical composition.
- The music he produced in the following years was dominated by sets of vocal and short instrumental pieces. These were based on various Russian idioms and folklore and on ragtime and other models from Western dance or popular music.
- Igor turned several of these experiments into large-scale theater pieces.
- From 1920 to 1939, Stravinsky resided in France, spending much of his time in Paris.
- He used most of his compositions during the 1920s and the 1930s himself as a conductor and concert pianist, in order to earn a living.
- In 1914, Igor started writing The Wedding. Due to his uncertainty over its instrumentation, the cantata was finished in 1923.
- The Symphonies of Wind Instruments was another masterpiece created just before Stravinsky’s Russian-style music started fading with the end of WWI.
- Stravinsky then shifted to neoclassicism, usually taking reference from past European music.
- In 1926, his vocal and stage music was notably affected by a religious conversion. This can be seen in his Symphony of Psalms, a work based on texts from the bible.
- During WWII, Stravinsky composed two critical works, his Symphony in C and Symphony in Three Movements.
- The first symphony has neoclassical principles, while the second combines the symphony with the concerto.
- From 1948 to 1951, Igor worked on The Rake’s Progress, his only full-length opera. It is based on a series of engravings by William Hogarth.
- A rising new musical avant-garde that rejected neoclassicism caused a creative crisis for Stravinsky, but with the help of his associate, Robert Craft, he transitioned into a phase of composing using the serial technique in his own manner.
- His serial compositions were mostly briefer than his tonal works, but the musical content was denser.
- The Requiem Canticles, finished in 1966, was Igor’s last major work. It is an intensely moving variation of modern serial style to an imaginative vision deeply embedded in his Russian past.
LEGACY AND DEATH
- On April 6, 1971, he died in his apartment at 920 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York, due to pulmonary edema.
- Like so many of the masters, Stravinsky is only famous for a few of his works and one of his essential achievements.
- The Rite of Spring involved a brilliantly original orchestration of constantly changing rhythms and imbalanced metric and radically dissonant harmonies that presented a new concept of music and resonated throughout the 20th century.
- Stravinsky was later regarded as a creative chameleon who could change from one style to another.
- Stravinsky had a significant influence on how composers that came after him felt form, rhythm, and pulse.
Igor Stravinsky Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Igor Stravinsky across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Igor Stravinsky worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Igor Stravinsky who was a conductor, pianist, and composer born in Russia. He is considered as one of the most influential and famous 20th-century composers.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Igor Roots
- A Match of Tunes
- Award Pieces
- In Search of Music
- Piano Tiles
- Instruments at Play
- Working Style
- Composing a Review
- Stravinsky’s Love
- Russian Overview
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