From 1910 to 1945, Stravinsky was the single strongest influence on contemporary music. His early ballets – The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring – alone were enough to secure his place among the greats.

Stravinsky’s father sent him to study criminal law and legal philosophy at St Petersburg University in 1901. Through his friendship with Vladimir and Andrei Rimsky-Korsakov, two sons of the great composer, Stravinsky became a family friend and a frequent visitor to Rimsky’s house. With Feodor Stravinsky’s death in 1902, Igor began taking lessons (free of charge) in orchestration from Rimsky, who became something of a .....

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