Igor Stravinsky, an unclassifiable composer, was accustomed to music from a very early age in particularly thanks to his father who was a famous bass at the St. Petersburg Opera. From Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, one of his teachers, he retained orchestral luxuriance and his first works were imbued with the shimmering colours of Russian folklore. His encounter with Diaghilev, who commissioned The Firebird ballet (1910), would determine the young composer’s future. Stravinsky began to travel and his insolent and disconcerting art made a name for him beyond the Russian frontiers.
Igor Stravinsky’s ballets caused a sensation in Paris. Although Debussy, Ravel and Schmitt were in raptures about the composer, the first performance of The Rite of Spring in 1913 in the new Théâtre des Champs-Elysées caused one of the greatest scandals in the history of art. Without ever constraining his musical language, Stravinsky spent the years of the First World War in Switzerland integrating jazz into his universe and composing new scores of pure simplicity.
Igor Stravinsky’s music cannot be classified but has always been a reference for modernity, originality and inventiveness. Whether it be the musical pastiches of Pulccinella, the religious fervour of his Mass (1951) or the serial and modern techniques in Canticum Sacrum, Stravinsky is indefinable. With his grating humour or violent rhythms, Stravinsky’s music was essential for future generations. Exiled in California from 1939 onwards, Stravinsky died in 1971 aged eighty-nine. He was buried in Venice, the city he most loved.
The Historic Stravinsky Memorial Concert, 8 April 1972
Orchestra and Corps de Ballet of the Opéra national de Paris
Archives from the 1960s
With the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra
The Halle aux Grains, Toulouse
Piano Recital – Master Pianists Series
London Symphony Orchestra. 1966
Verbier Festival 2011
Vladimir Jurowski, John Cox – Miah Persson (Anne Trulove), Topi Lehtipuu (Tom Rakewell), Clive Bayley (Father Trulove)
Yefim Bronfman, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker
Europakonzert 2008, Moscow
Orchestre de l'ORTF, Jean Fournet (conductor) - Pierre Barbizet (piano)
John Neumeier and Patrick Dupond – Petrushka
With Hélène Jarry and the Orchestre de Paris
Giovanni di Palma, Kiyoko Kimura – Ballet of Leipzig