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Igor Stravinsky Quotes


Igor Stravinsky
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky
  • Born: 17th June 1882, Oranienbaum, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
  • Died: 6th April 1971, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
  • Inspiration: The Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov who gave private tutelage to a young Stravinsky for several years before his death
  • Emigration: After the deaths of his wife and daughter he emigrated to the U.S. in 1939 and he became a U.S. citizen in 1946
  • Occupation: Composer, conductor and pianist
  • Famous works: His most famous works were the ballet 'The Rite of Spring' and the orchestral 'Symphony in C'
  • Trivia: He is the only classical composer honoured with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, it is located at 6340 Hollywood Boulevard
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"What gives the artist real prestige is his imitators"

Igor Stravinsky

"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music; they should be taught to love it instead"

Igor Stravinsky

"What I cannot follow are the manic-depressive fluctuations from total control to no control, from the serialization of all elements to chance"

Igor Stravinsky

"We in Russia have our Trotskys, and I myself should be highly annoyed if anyone were to take them for authentic Russians"

Igor Stravinsky

"Expression has never been an inherent property of music. That is by no means the purpose of its existence"

Igor Stravinsky

"One has a nose. The nose scents and it chooses. An artist is simply a kind of pig snouting truffles"

Igor Stravinsky

"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music; they should be taught to love it instead"

Igor Stravinsky

"My music is best understood by children and animals"

Igor Stravinsky

"Art is the opposite of chaos. Art is organized chaos"

Igor Stravinsky

"I haven't understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it"

Igor Stravinsky

"Music's exclusive function is to structure the flow of time and keep order in it"

Igor Stravinsky

"A cultural snob is someone who claims to be familiar with the incomprehensible"

Igor Stravinsky

"Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end"

Igor Stravinsky

"Music is the sole domain in which man realizes the present"

Igor Stravinsky

"Composers combine notes, that's all"

Igor Stravinsky

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Igor Stravinsky Biography

Igor Stravinsky was born west of Saint Petersburg in the town of Oranienbaum to a musical family who despite Igor's shared interest in music his parents steered him towards a career in law. He never did get that law degree which was largely due to him devoting more time to practicing his music than to learning his law.

During this period he met Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov who took the young Igor under his wing and taught him everything he knew up until his death in 1908. Stravinsky's early work opened doors for him to wider audience and by 1913 he became well known throughout Europe for his revolutionary 'The Rite of Spring' which actually caused a riot on its opening night.



He spent the next 25 years mostly in France and Switzerland until his wife Katerina Gavrlovna Nossenko and his daughter Ludmila died of tuberculosis in 1939 and 1938. This gave him the extra incentive to leave Europe and go to the U.S. and while there he completed his renowned 'Symphony In C'.

More great works were on their way with the opera's The Rake's Progress (1951) and Agon (1957). He won many awards for the mastery of his craft including the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal in 1954 and the LĂ©onie Sonning Music Prize in 1959. His legacy is one of the greatest twentieth centuries composers and he is often considered as the father of modern classical music.

He generally let his music do his talking but when he did speak you knew it meant something, so this is my compilation of 15 of the best quotes by Igor Stravinsky.

Quotes About Igor Stravinsky

The French composer Olivier Messiaen was impressed to say: "Stravinsky, the chameleon-musician, the man of a thousand-and-one styles, has bequeathed us a totally unified treasury of rhythm that traces a perfect arc from his first to most recent work, rising from the simple to the complex then falling from the complex to the simple"

The American conductor Leonard Bernstein was praiseful: "That he is a master is universally accepted. That his originality is unrivalled we all realize. That his influence has been formidable goes without saying. But to me as a conductor, his unique value is his fabulous variety. The variety itself is manifold. There is a stylistic variety which makes each work sound new and different from the last"

The Mexican composer Carlos Chavez described him thus: "Alert to all influences, Stravinsky receives and dominates them, only to reaffirm more and more his own personality. He is a living proof that authentic genius does not, indeed cannot, evade external influence but always absorbs and masters it"

The Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet theorised his emigration: "At the same time that Stravinsky started to compose, Russian music was a hundred years old. But it had begun to show a certain weakening of force. This was one reason impelling Stravinsky to leave his fatherland. He felt more free to fulfill his destiny in the climate of Debussy and Ravel than in a St Petersburg haunted by Wagner. But this much is clear. Though he chose to live, from then on, among foreign musicians, it was to create in a fashion unlike theirs"

The critic Andrew J. Browne put him on a pedestal: "Stravinsky is perhaps the only composer who has raised rhythm in itself to the dignity of art"


Igor Stravinsky image quote