Igor Stravinsky was born in what is now St. Petersburg, Russia in 1882.  His father was a famous singer, and young Igor often went to rehearsals and performances with his father.   He gained an appreciation for theater during these early years. 

Stravinsky studied law, but did not care for it.  Once he decided to become a composer, there was no turning back.  His first major work was Fireworks.   A ballet director named Sergei Diaghilev noticed Stravinsky's talent and had him write music for three great ballets--Firebird (1910), Petrouchka (1911), and The Rite of Spring (1913). 

The Rite of Spring was the beginning of modern music.  The dancing and music were nothing like the audience was used to hearing, so they caused a riot at its first performance to protest this strange new work.  Today it is considered one of the greatest musical works of the 20th century.

During the 1920's and 30's Stravinsky toured Europe and the United States, conducting and playing the piano.  In 1939 he made the United States his home.  He died in New York City in 1971. 

Stravinsky's  music contains some of the most original ideas of the last 100 years.  He was always searching for new styles and techniques of musical expression.  His works reflected and influenced important musical trends of the 20th century.




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