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Igor Fedorovich Stravinsky was born June 17 1882 in Oranienbaum Russia the son of a leading bass singer at a opera house in Saint Petersburg Although he didnt make the best grades Stravinsky studied law at the University of Saint Petersburg There he met the son of Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and his friends famous father guided Stravinskys early compositional efforts In 1908 the Russian impresario Sergey Diaghilev impressed by Stravinskys orchestral works Scherzo fantastique and Fireworks asked the composer to write for his Ballets Russes His first ballets for Diaghilev The Firebird and Petrushka won immediate success and were greatly admired for their dramatic impact rich orchestration and melodies evoking Russian folk songHis next ballet The Rite of Spring however the unconventional choreography and the harsh dissonances prompted a hostile uproar so noisy that the dancers could not hear the orchestra A roit later occured on the streets but future performaces were sucessful The following year World War I had begun Stravinsky settled in Switzerland There partly because the difficult conditions during and after the war made it impossible to secure performances for large-scale works he composed only one The Soldiers Tale The disillusion of the war years can be seen in this work The impact of jazz is evident in his Rag-timeIn 1920 Stravinsky moved to Paris To the years just after this move date the important Symphonies of Wind Instruments the opera Mavra and the ballet Les noces Les noces was influenced by the style of Russian folk melody Les noces displays a freedom from natural word stresses that became typical of Stravinskys worksIn the early 1920s he fell in love with the actor Vera de Bosset Soudeikine whom he married in 1940 After about 1923 Stravinskys neoclassical works began to appear characterized by an interest in the forms of the 17th and 18th centuries This latter ideal was reflected later in his Autobiography where he wrote that Music
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