Igor Stravinsky Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1882 – 1971 *** Full Name: Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky *** Occupation: Russian Composer, Pianist and Conductor *** Date of Birth: Igor Stravinsky was born on June 17th 1882 *** Place of Birth: Igor Stravinsky was born in Oranienbaum, St Petersburg, Russia *** Family background: His father was Fyodor Stravinsky and his mother Anna Kholodovsky. His father had been a bass singer and was a decedent of polish aristocracy and land owners in eastern Poland. The family moved to Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in St Petersburg and became very fond of music from quite an early age and began playing the piano as a young boy *** Education: Igor Stravinsky recalled school as being a lonely place ***
Igor Stravinsky Fact 1: Igor Stravinsky was born on June 17th 1882 and during the 19th century period in history when there was much change across Europe and the world, the first and second French, Spanish, Chinese and Holy Roman Empires all collapsed and Europe would see two World Wars.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 2: Although Igor Stravinsky had a natural aptitude for music at an early age, his parents still wanted him to study law.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 3: In 1901 he enrolled in the University of Saint Petersburg but over the next four years attended less than fifty classes.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 4: In 1902 Igor Stravinsky spent his summer with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a composer of some renown in Heidelberg, Germany. He advised Stravinsky not to attend the Conservatoire at Saint Petersburg but to take private lessons instead, largely because of his age.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 5: Already paying more attention to music than his law studies, in 1902 his father died of cancer.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 6: At the end of his University course, the University was closed down after the events of Bloody Sunday for two months preventing Stravinsky from taking his final exams and would be awarded a half course diploma.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 7: Under those circumstances he continued with his musical studies and began taking twice weekly lessons with Rimsky-Korsakov who he began to look on as a father figure. Sadly, much like his own father, Rimski-Korsakov died in 1908.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 8: Even though the Orthodox Church was opposed to marriages between first cousins, in 1905 Igor married Katya and had two children, Foyodor born in 1907 and Ludmila in 1908.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 9: Stravinsky's Firebird was an overnight success when premiered in Paris in June 1910.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 10: Igor Stravinsky travelled to Paris with his family joining him at the end of the season. They spent their summer in Brittany as Katya was expecting their third child they decided not to return home and in September they moved to Switzerland where their child was born.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 11: Over the next four years Stravinsky composed a further two works for the Ballets Russes, Petrushka in 1911 and The Rite of Spring in 1913.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 12: The families routine over those four years was spent living in Russia during the summer months and wintering in Switzerland. Thus it was while in Russia in the summer of 1913 that he returned to his first opera that had remained incomplete.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 13: With World War I looming, Stravinsky managed a final trip back to Russia to collect some personal effects before the boarders were closed. It would be many decades before he returned to his homeland again.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 14: During the war years the family lived at three different addresses in Morges near Lake Geneva. Financially the family struggled during these years as royalties were hard to collect as the successor to Russia, the USSR did not conform to the Berne convention.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 15: Stravinsky turned to Werner Reinhart, a Swiss philanthropist to aid him and Reinhart became his sponsor and in gratitude he dedicated an original manuscript to him.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 16: By 1920 the family moved back to Paris where Stravinsky struck up a deal with Pleyel, a French piano manufacturing company.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 17: Between 1934 and 1939 many changes occurred in Stravinsky’s life. His wife contracted tuberculosis and the illness infected both Stravinsky and his daughter Ludmila. Ludmila died in 1938 and his wife died the following year while he himself spent five months in hospital himself and while he was there his mother died.Igor Stravinsky Fact 18: His last few years in Paris were spent developing ties to America, in particular Stravinsky was working on a piece for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as agreeing to deliver a lecture at Harvard University.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 19: Igor Stravinsky moved to America and by 1945 was living in Los Angeles and became an American citizen. As a result of the war he found many likeminded people gravitated to America and although initially his immediate circle of friends consisted of other Russian émigré’s he found this to be counterproductive and began to socialize in the wider culture which also proved fruitful career wise.
Igor Stravinsky Fact 20: Having moved to New York in 1969 he bought an apartment in Essex House and it was here on April 6th 1971 that Igor Stravinsky died of heart failure aged eighty eight. His body was laid to rest in San Michele, an island in the Venetian Lagoon in northern Italy.
Influence and Legacy: Stravinsky’s legacy symbolizes the 20th century and is still widely listened to in the 21st century. His ballet music in particular thrust him into the limelight.
Short Facts about Igor Stravinsky for Kids
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