Composer Biography - Igor Stravinsky

Run time: 2m 13s  |  Release Date: February 17th, 2018

Igor Stravinsky was born on June 17th, 1882 in Oranienbaum, Russia.

His father, Fyodor, was an accomplished Opera singer and his mother, Anna, a talented pianist.

Upon graduating from secondary school in St. Petersburg, Russia, his parents encouraged him to study law.

However, after meeting noted composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, his career took a turn towards music.

While studying under Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky composed “Fireworks”  dubbed by many an “orchestral fantasy”.

Continuing with this fantastical theme, Stravinsky began writing music for the Ballets Russes (Roose), a ballet company centered in Paris in 1910.

These pieces were wildly popular and included  Firebird, Petrushka, and The Rite of Spring.

Stravinsky’s collaborations with the Ballet were extremely successful and heavily influenced by his Russian heritage.

In 1914, He composed his first opera, “Le rossignol”, or “The Nightengale”  and would go to write several more during his career.

Following World War 1, Stravinsky began to compose in varied styles and genres and shifted his musical preferences toward the principle of “objectivity”, which shunned the emotionality of the Romantic Era.

During this time, he was heavily influenced by the pre-Romantic era composers Bach, Handel, and Mozart, and began changing his compositions based on his own uncommon rhythmic and harmonic style, sometimes called Neoclassicism.

Later in his career, Stravinsky implemented the twelve tone technique, which uses all twelve tones of the chromatic scale.

Igor Stravinsky moved to New York City in 1969 and his health began to deteriorate. He died on April 6th, 1971 at the age of 88 in New York City of congestive heart failure. 

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Gershwin.jpg

Run time: 1m 50s  |  Release Date: February 22nd, 2018

George Gershwin was born into a Russian, Jewish immigrant family on September 26th, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York.

Despite having a perfunctory musical education, and never really becoming very good at reading music, Gershwin was the first composer to successfully fuse the musical style of American jazz with those of the European symphonic tradition. At the age of 16, he quit school to become a music publisher agent and was soon writing his own music, along with his brother Ira, a lyricist.

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