- Paul R. Laird
Stravinsky, Igor (17 June 1882–06 April 1971), composer, was born Igor’ Fedorovich Stravinskii in Oranienbaum, Russia, the son of Fyodor Ignat’evich Stravinskii, a bass at the imperial opera house in St. Petersburg, and Anna Kholodovskii. During opera seasons in his youth Stravinsky lived in St. Petersburg; summers were spent at country estates owned by his mother’s family. He attended school in St. Petersburg and studied law for eight terms at St. Petersburg University, receiving a degree in jurisprudence in 1905, but he found music most stimulating. From his boyhood Stravinsky attended many opera and ballet performances and heard his father practice singing at home. He began piano lessons at the age of nine and later studied harmony and counterpoint. In his teen years his interest turned to composition. One of his friends was the son of noted composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, whom Stravinsky met in 1902. He studied composition and orchestration with Rimsky-Korsakov until 1908, and much of his early music reflected the older composer’s late Romantic tonal vocabulary and folk-like melodies. Stravinsky dedicated his Symphony in E-flat (1907) to Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1906 Stravinsky married his first cousin Katerina Nossenko, with whom he had four children....