Igor Stravinsky is commonly considered to be one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. Yet we know so little about him, and what we do know about him is controversial at best. This is a man who changed the way music was composed not once, not twice, but three times. As one begins to uncover the truth about this great composer, only more questions arise. Even in his native country of Russia interest in Stravinsky is down. Where he was once idolized in the sixties, his name is now uncommon. This demonstrates how Igor Stravinsky was one of the geniuses from the generation we studied. Although his name and face may be forgotten, the legacy that he created as a pioneering composer of the twentieth century will never be lost. .
Igor Stravinsky was born June 17th, 1882 in Oranienbaum, Russia, just outside of St. Petersburg. His father was a bass singer who had built a successful operatic career for himself first in Kiev, Ukraine and then in St.Petersburg. As a young child, Stravinsky loved music. He attended many ballets and operas, and began piano lessons at the age of nine. He added harmony and counterpoint training a few years later(Nousiainen). Although his love for music was evident, his parents refused to let him pursue a musical career. Upon graduation from high school, they sent him to St. Petersburg University to study criminal law and legal philosophy. It was there where Stravinsky met the son of the famous Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov who arranged for Stravinsky to meet his father. In 1903, upon hearing Stravinsky's compositional talents, Rimsky-Korsakov offered to give Stravinsky private lessons, an offer that he did not decline(Hadzovic). Stravinsky continued these lessons throughout his college career and after his graduation in 1905. The following year, Stravinsky married Catherine Nossenko, who just happened to be his first cousin. With Nosssenko, he had a son in 1907 and a daughter in 1908(Nousiainen).