Stravinsky, Igor Fyodorovich

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(18821971), Russian composer.

Among the most influential composers of the twentieth century, Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky epitomized the new prominence of Russian emigré creative artists and their presence on the international scene in the years following the 1917 Revolution. Like the contributions of his emigré colleague writer Vladimir Nabokov and choreographer George Balanchine-Stravinsky's enormous contribution to his art significantly altered the course of twentieth-century music. Stravinsky's compositions encompass every important musical trend of the period (neonationalism, neoclassicism, and serialism, to name a few) and include examples of all the major Western concert genres (opera, ballet, symphony, choral works, solo works, and numerous incidental works, including a polka for circus elephants).

The son of a St. Petersburg opera singer, Stravinsky attained international fame with his early ballet, The Firebird (1910), composed for Sergei Diagilev's Ballets Russes (with choreography by Michel Fokine). Several important ballets followed, including Petrushka (1911, also with Fokine) and the seminal Rite of Spring (1913, choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky), among the most famous works of art of the twentieth century. Stravinsky's compositions for the theater continued to trace a path through the most significant musical and theatrical idioms of his century, and include Les Noces (1923, choreography by Bronislava Nijinska), Apollon musagète (1928), and Agon (1957, both choreographed by Balanchine). Although Stravinsky was a supremely cosmopolitan figure, his music nonetheless retained traces of its Russian origins throughout his long career.

See also: diagilev, sergei pavlovich; firebird; music; petrushka


Stravinsky, Vera, and Craft, Robert. (1978). Stravinsky in Pictures and Documents. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Taruskin, R. (1996). Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions. Berkeley: University of California Press.

White, Eric Walter. (1979). Stravinsky: the Composer and His Works. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Tim Scholl

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Stravinsky, Igor Fyodorovich

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