Igor Stravinsky was a legendary figure during his time. he lived from 1882-1971. Hi srevolutionary works became modern classicsand he influenced other artists and composers. When he was 80 years old, he was honoured by President John F. Kennedy at the White House.
Stravinsky was born in St. Petersburg. he grew up in a musical environment and was the student og Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Stravinsky's big strike came in 1909 when he met Diaghilev who was the director of the Russian Ballet. He wanted Stravinsky to orchetrate some Chopin pieces for the ballets. In 1910, he was commissioned tp write the ballet music of "Fireworks" and "Petrushka". When the final "Rite of Spring came, riots broke out as people were publicly outraged byt he primitiveness of the ballet. During WWI, Stravinsky fled tp Switzerland and moved to France later. With the onset of WWII, he went to USA. He became an international celebrity. He adopted Shoenberg's 12 tone system at some points of his life.
Stravinsky by and large was a practical man who composed daily as if it was a nine-to-five job. He, therefore had a pretty decent commission.
After about 1923, Stravinsky's neoclassical works began to appear, characterized by an interest in the forms of the 17th and 18th centuries. The works of this period was in a reaction against the emotionalism of the late romantic period. This latter ideal was reflected later in his Autobiography (1935), where he wrote that "Music is, by its very nature. Powerless to express anything at all" and declared that performers should follow composers' intentions without adding their own ideas or self-expression an aesthetic position that had a strong impact on the course of modern music. Works from this period include the opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex (1927) and the dramatic Perséphone (1934), as well as the ballet Apollo Musagète (1928, later retitled Apollo), among the earliest of the many Stravinsky works that were written for the Russian-born choreographer George Balanchine.
In the mid-1920s Stravinsky underwent a spiritual crisis, and in 1926 he rejoined the Russian Orthodox church (which he had left at the age of 18). Not long afterward, in 1930, he composed his Symphony of Psalms, for chorus and orchestra. Written to a Latin biblical text, this represented a temporary disregard of his ideals of strict musical objectivity.
In 1939 Stravinsky left Europe for the United States, settling in Hollywood, California. There, he supported himself by commissions. Among diverse works written to order were the Circus Polka (1942), to be danced by circus elephants; Danses concertantes (1942) for orchestra; and Scènes de ballet (1944) for a Broadway revue. More significant works from these years included the Symphony in Three Movements (1945), his Mass (1948), and the highly successful opera The Rake's Progress (1951), a work that can be seen as the summation of his neoclassical period.