Biography and History

Igor Fyodorovitch Stravinsky (1882-1971) was born in Russia, near St. Petersburg, grew up in a musical atmosphere , and studied with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. He had his first important opportunity in 1909, when the impresario Sergei Diaghilev heard his music, and went on to commission Stravinksy's first ballet. During World War I, Stravinsky sought refuge in Switzerland; after the armistice, he moved to France, his home until the onset of World War II, when he came to the United States. During his years in the United States, he lived outside Los Angeles, and was assisted by his young protégé, Robert Craft. In 1962 he accepted an invitation to return to Russia for a series of concerts, but remained an emigre firmly based in the West. He died in New York City on April 6, 1971, at the age of 89 and was buried in Venice on the cemetery island of San Michele. His grave is close to the tomb of his early collaborator, Diaghilev. He was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the century, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In his 1936 autobiography, Chronicles of My Life, written with the help of Alexis Roland-Manuel, Stravinsky included his infamous statement that "music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all."

Source: From the finding aid for C1219

  • Igor Stravinsky Collection. 1964-1967 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1219

    Consists of correspondence and documents relating to the Princeton commission of Requiem Canticles by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, considered by many in both the West and his native land to be the most influential composer of 20th-century music.