On this day, in 1971, Russian-born pianist, conductor and composer, Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). He died of heart failure while living in New York City.
Pierre Boulez, who was to become the music director of the New York Philharmonic said, "The death of Stravinsky means the final disappearance of a musical generation which gave music its basic shock at the beginning of this century and which brought about the real departure from Romanticism. Something radically new, even foreign to Western tradition, had to be found for music to survive, and to enter our contemporary era. The glory of Stravinksy was to have belonged to his extremely gifted generation and to be one of the most creative of them all."
The Seattle Symphony has produced two CDs with Stravinsky's work on them. You can find them here, and here. Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-Andre Hamelin will be playing Stravinsky on April 24th. You can read the Encore Arts Program of that coming performance, here.
Stravinsky received international fame for three ballet commissions - The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. The Rite of Spring was revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of musical design and rhythmic structure. So revolutionary, in fact, it started a riot.
He composed works for opera, ballet and orchestra, as well as choral music, chamber music, piano and more.
His "Symphony of Psalms":
Stravinksy conducting "The Firebird":
And in conversation: