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 Igor Stravinsky


Born:   June 17, 1882
Deceased:   April 6, 1971

Russian composer, conductor, pianist

      

The Russian composer, conductor and pianist Igor Stravinsky was a unique persona in music field of the 20th century. His creativity embracing practically all leading styles of the epoch is compared to that of Picasso as regards its powerful influence on and value for his contemporaries and descendants.


Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was born on June (5) 17, 1882 in Oranienbaum near St. Petersburg. Since his birth the future composer was in creative milieu: his father was a glorified singer of the Mariinsky Theater, and their house was frequented by his friends, including Stasov, Mussorgsky, and Dostoyevsky. 
 
As a young man Stravinsky already belonged to the creams of Petersburg art intellectuals and on friendly terms with Sergey Diaghilev. Later, thanks to Diaghilev and Debussy, he quickly got on the inside of Parisian aristocratic elite. 
 
Stravinsky completed his first big composition, a piano sonata, in 1904. He gained fame with performance of his Firebird in Paris in 1910 and the scandalous premiere of The Rite of Spring three years later. After the Parisian premiere of The Firebird its author became friends with Debussy, and it lasted for nine years, till the death of the French composer. 
The second period of Stravinsky’s creative career falls on the years after World War I, when he constantly lived in Paris and got French citizenship in 1934. He was spiritually and creatively kindred to his new environment. Thus he became a brilliant representative of international avant-garde music. 
 
The composer created orchestral scores for eight ballets: The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, Apollo, The Fairy’s Kiss, Card Game, Orpheus, and Agon. The singing ballets Bayka or Baize (1915-16), Pulcinella (1919-1920) and Svadebka or The Wedding (1914-23) marked a turning point in his creativity.
 
Igor Stravinsky underwent a long crisis in the 1930s. In 1938-1939 his wife, mother, and daughter passed away one after another, and he himself fought against tuberculosis, which had made his wife and daughter die.  He soon immigrated to America, though never could get used to its cultural contexts. 
 
Three major works illumined Stravinsky’s creativity of the last fifteen years of his life: Canticum Sacrum (1955-1956), The Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet (1957-1958), and Requiem Canticles (1965-1966). 
 
Requiem is known as Stravinsky’s highest achievement. He created it at the age of 84 and this work is brimming with true art insights.  
 
The musician’s health drastically deteriorated in 1969. 
 
The great composer, one of the largest representatives of world music culture of the 20th century, Igor Stravinsky died in New York on April 6, 1971, and was buried at San Michele Cemetery in Venice. 
 
Coins and stamps were issued in honor of Igor Stravinsky; a crater on Mercury was named after him. There is Stravinsky Avenue in Lausanne and Strawinskylaan (Street) in Amsterdam. A music school in Oranienbaum (Lomonosov) and a philharmonic hall in Montreux were named after him. There is also Stravinsky Fountain in the same-name square in front of Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, France. There is Stravinsky Square in his hometown of Lomonosov.
 
The Aeroflot company’s Aircraft A-319 with the registration number VP-BDO is known as Stravinsky. 
 
Igor Stravinsky's first-ever museum was opened in the town of Ustilug in Ukraine in 1990. Igor Stravinsky Music Festival has been annually held in Ukraine since 1994. The 7th International festival Stravinsky and Ukraine was opened in Lutsk on June 12, 2010.


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