Russian composer, nationalized French (1936) and then us (1945). His father, bass at the Opera of Petersburgo, wanted to study law, career where he graduated in 1905. But he followed studies in order to become a composer. Thus, between 1905 and 1910 was a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov, then director of the Conservatory of St. Petersburg. After several works of limited interest, his style began to Polish from fantastic Scherzo and fire of artifice (both 1908). The orchestration of this last work caught the interest of Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes, who commissioned the score of the ballet the Firebird (1910), which after premiering in Paris marked the sudden popularity of the young Stravinsky, and influences of Rimsky-Korsakov found it. Also for Diaghilev, he composed ballets Petrushka (1911), considered a work master and that warns a new use of folklore, and the rite of spring (1913), whose premiere in Paris was a scandal. From this period there are also fantastic lyric opera the Nightingale (1909-1914), in which influences from Debussy and Ravel are. 3 poems of Japanese poetry (1913), Zvezdoliki, the King of the stars and three pieces for String Quartet (all from 1914), there are reminiscent of the style of Schoenberg.
In 1914, after a trip to his country, Stravinsky was found blocked in Switzerland until the Armistice. Most of the works from this period continue to exploit the Russian folklore, as happens at weddings (1914-1923), choreographic work that includes forty topics of sometimes burlesque form. The same style followed in Pribaoutki and lullabies of the cat and, even in titles that do not unfold within the Russian folklore, as the story of a soldier (1918). This work is based on a folk tale represented with Western dances (tango, waltz and ragtime) and Russian.
The October Revolution (1917) and the rise to power of Lenin plunged to the musician in great confusion and a difficult material situation. Between armistice and mid-1919 he composed the last of its four Russian songs, which makes a kind of farewell to the folklore Russian, until then so present in his work.
Pulcinella, a ballet with vocals was composed at the request of Diaghilev and whose music is attributed to Pergolesi. Stravinsky took Baroque music and developed it in a personal way with new elements, variations and a timbre and rhythm innovative. It was premiered in Paris in 1920 with decorations of Picasso. Intending to undertake a new path towards an international language appealed to European classicism and composed a Serenata, which evokes the Italian case, the Concerto for piano and wind Orchestra and the piano Sonata, reminiscent of Bach oratorio Oedipus King, whose reference is Handel. Opera buffa Mavra (1922) is full of stylistic references to Gluck, Mozart, Verdi and Gounod, among others. His step towards neoclassicism was explained by Stravinsky with the aesthetics of the antiexpresion and its almost classical ideal of absolute musical form. It rejected the total work of art of Wagner and, by extension, of all the Romanticismo.Durante twenty of his Parisian period production was broad, and other works include the oratorio Oedipus rex and the ballet Apollon Musagète (1928), Symphony of Psalms (1930), melodrama Persephone (1934). In 1923 he began the career of virtuoso piano and Orchestra conductor, who led him in 1925 to additional United States of America. In 1939 he was invited by Harvard University and stayed isolated in Europe because of the second world war. Then settled near Hollywood and in 1945 he resigned to French nationality and acquired the American. His fame made that the most diverse orders reach you: as Zircuspolka, for the Barnum Circus; Scenes of ballet, Broadway Roose, or Ebony Concerto shows producer, for Woodie Hermann group. These years he also composed the ballet Orpheus, the Symphony in three movements, a mass, and The Rake's Progress opera which premiered in Venice in 1951 and that it was his reunion with Europe and contemporary music.
In his last period (1951-1971) he even became interested in the technique of serialism from a composer so distant to him as Schoenberg was. After some short-lived serial works, became Canticum sacrum (1955), first of his compositions of large dimensions, continued where others such as Aegon and Threni, id est Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae. Since then, he wrote an important score every year, always governed by the first serial, in its sole discretion.