Era: 20th Century
Igor Stravinsky was a Russian composer, conductor, and pianist who wrote more than 100 works, many for ballet. He was raised in St. Petersburg by his father, a professional singer, and his mother, a talented pianist. His parents hoped he would become a lawyer but instead he chose to pursue music. Initially, Stravinsky was asked by famous choreographer Serge Diaghilev to orchestrate Chopin’s music for ballet, but this eventually turned into Stravinsky being comissioned to compose new ballet music of his own. His score to The Rite of Spring caused a near riot when debuted in 1913 for its radical new sounds. When World War I broke out, Stavinsky was forced to flee Russian and lived in Switzerland. He later lived in France and eventually moved to the United States. Famous works include: The Firebird and The Rite of Spring.