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Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky was a Russian-born international (later French and American) composer and acknowledged by many as one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.

Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913). The Rite of Spring, which provoked a riot during its premiere, transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design.

Stravinsky's "Russian phase" was followed in the 1920s (shortly after moving to Paris, France) by a period in which he turned to neoclassical music. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue and symphony). They frequently concealed a vein of intense emotion beneath a surface appearance of detachment or austerity and often paid tribute to the music of earlier masters, for example J.S. Bach and Tchaikovsky.

Stravinsky became a naturalized citizen of the United State in 1945, after World War II. Several years later in the 1950s, Stravinsky began exploring serial composition with techniques such as dodecaphony, Schoenberg's twelve-tone method. His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, of instrumentation and of utterance.

The depth and breadth of his compositions, spanning many decades and a wide range of musical styles, produced one of the largest and greatest bodies of musical works in history.

Exclusive Stravinsky Scores for Strings from Ovation Press

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