Igor Stravinsky

(1882–1971)

Igor Stravinsky

Anecdote 1...

Stravinsky wrote a ballet for Billy Rose’s Broadway show The Seven Lively Arts. After the opening one of the dancers sent a wire to the composer: “Ballet great success but if you would allow violin to play pas de deux instead of trumpet it would be a triumph.” Stravinsky cabled back: “Satisfied with great success.”

Anecdote 2...

In the 1950s the Venice Festival commissioned Stravinsky to write an original composition. When the piece was submitted, its length — only fifteen minutes — was found unsatisfactory. Stravinsky was unruffled. “Well, then,” he said, “play it again.”

Biographical Note: 

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian-born composer who became a U.S. citizen in 1945. He first achieved fame with his ballet scores commissioned by impresario Sergei Diaghilev — “The Firebird” (1910), “Petruska” (1911), and “Le Sacre du printemps” (1913). The dissonances and rhythms of these works exercized a powerful influence on subsequent twentieth-century music; Stravinsky’s own later works were influenced by classical and baroque styles, adapted to modern idiom.