Businessman of Russian ballet, born in Selistchev (Novgorod) on March 31, 1872 and died in Venice on August 19, 1929. He was the son of a general of the army and a Lady of the Russian nobility who died when Diaghilev was still very small.
He studied piano and composition, and in 1890 went to Petersburgo to study law, discipline from which he graduated in 1896. There he joined a group of young intellectuals who aroused his interest in art, but he soon discovered his limitations as a musician and composer. His vocation of patrons and his audacity and personal charm earned him to undertake a series of business, paid for from his own pocket, as the Foundation of the magazine Mir Iskusstva (World of the art), which appeared between 1899 and 1904. Also in 1899, and from the position of artistic director of the Marinsky Theatre, conducted to the edition of the "book of the year", commissioned by the theatre itself. After the success achieved with this publication, Diaghilev was his first ballet, Sylvia, after abandoning the Marinsky Theatre.
In 1905, he organized an exhibition with more than 2000 works of Russian architects of all ages, who was in the Palacio Tauride in St. Petersburg for six months. A year later, he organized the exhibition of Russian art in Paris, culminating in the production of the opera of Mussorgsky Boris Godunov (1908). In 1909 he organized, with Mikhail Fokineand Vaslav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova , the first season of the Ballets Russes at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. This company remained active until the death of Diaghilev in 1929, touring all over the world. For her dancers, choreographers, painters, musicians and set most important designers of the moment, among them worked George Balanchine, Léon Bakst, Alexandre Benois, Enrico Cecchetti, Coco Chanel, Jean Cocteau, Alexandra Danilova, Anton Dolin, Felia Doubrovska, Manuel de Falla, Tamara Karsavina, Boris Kochno, Sergei Lifar, Léonide Massine, Joan Miró, Bronislava Nijinska, Alice Nikitina, Pablo Picasso, Josep Maria Sert, Igor Stravinsky and Léon Woizikovsky.