Subject: Igor Stravinsky
Born: June 17, 1882
Died: April 6, 1971
Known for: Being a jack of all styles. Stravinsky went through several distinct styles of composition including a period of neoclassicism and a period where he wrote serial music.
Child prodigy? Sort of. Stravinsky was passionate about music at an early age, and showed a lot of promise. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer.
Contribution to music: Rhythm! Stravinsky was a rhythmic revolutionary.
Happy or neurotic?: Mostly happy. Stravinsky had a wife, a lover, and lived in Russia, Switzerland, France, and the US.
Strange fact: Stravinsky's music was controversial on more than one occasion. The premier of the ballet The Firebird sparked a riot in the audience. When he was living in the US, he wrote a version of The National Anthem that contained some unconventional harmonies. After the first performance the parts were collected by the Boston Police Department to prevent further performance.
Upcoming performances: The Knoxville Symphony will perform Stravinsky's Suite from The Firebird on our 75th anniversary season May Masterworks concerts.