1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Stravinsky, Igor

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STRAVINSKY, IGOR (1882- ), Russian musical composer, was born at Oranienbaum, near St. Petersburg, June 18 (O.S. June 5) 1882. His father was an opera singer, who early discovered his son's remarkable musical gifts. At the same time, however, he wished the boy not to devote himself entirely to music but to study law, and with this end in view Igor Stravinsky entered the University of St. Petersburg. At the age of 22, however, a meeting with Rimsky-Korsakov decided him in the direction of a musical career, and the former declared himself ready to take Stravinsky as a pupil. His first work for orchestra was a symphony (1907), followed by a suite, Faune et Bergère, and two short works, also for orchestra, Feu d'artifice and Scherzo fantastique. A meeting with Serge Diaghiliev turned his attention to the possibilities of the ballet, and in rapid succession appeared L'Oiseau de feu (1910), Petrouchka (1911), and Le Sacre du Printemps (1913). His next important work was an opera, Le Rossignol (1914), founded on Hans Andersen's fairy story of The Nightingale, of which the second and third acts were later worked up into a symphonic poem, Le Chant du Rossignol (1917). The opera was produced at Covent Garden in 1920, and the same year appeared a revision by Stravinsky of Pergolesi's Pulcinella.