Composer study is a great part of any education. We usually pick a composer to study each term.
This term, we are going to hear Igor Stravinsky The Firebird at our local symphony, so I gathered some resources to help us understand and enjoy it more.
Note: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you click an Amazon link below and make a purchase, you help support my homeschool at no additional cost to you! Thanks!
About Igor Stravinsky:
Igor Stravinsky was described by his friends as looking like “a deeply preoccupied grasshopper.” He also was one to the great twentieth century composers.
He was born near St. Petersburg, Russia in 1882 and grew up in a musical home. Although he went to school to be a lawyer, music was his love and he eventually began writing it.
His great work The Firebird develops as its theme an old Russian legend.
After it was performed in Paris in 1910 it was an overnight success and the first really modern ballet.
Other works include Petrushka, Pulcinella, and Symphony of Psalms.
My music is best understood by children and animals –– Igor Stravinsky
His work The Rite of Spring “set off an earthquake in the musical world.” It had a profound influence on other composers.
In addition, it literally started a riot at one of the first performances.
After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Igor Stravinsky found himself cut off from his Russian supporters and had to make his own way. After WWI he moved to France.
Before WWII his wife, daughter and mother died. He moved to the U.S. after the outbreak of WWII and continued his composing life.
He died in 1971 at the age of 89.
Books about Stravinsky for Kids
Here are some books for kids about Stravinsky and his work:
Stravinsky and The Firebird
From the Cleveland Orchestra, this children’s book resales the story of the music and includes audio snippets to go along with it. View online.
Inspired by a
You can listen to the music here:
Stravinsky: The Firebird
The Firebird Listening Guide from the Philharmonia Orchestra gives you a great overview of major themes in a
A fantastic Teacher’s Guide on The Firebird from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Another listening guide from The Toronto Orchestra with what to listen for in each section of The Firebird.
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
The Rite of Spring guide introduced by the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Here is another interactive listening guide about The Rite of Spring.
Learn all about The Rite of Spring from Lumene Learning
Overview of Petrushka with a scene from the ballet about the “unhappiest puppet story ever.”
Teaching Guide from the New York Philharmonic about Petrushka
A podcast from the San Francisco Symphony on Petrushka
Stravinsky: Other Works
Here is a study guide for The Soldier’s Tale
Additional Stravinsky Resources
A Cocktail Party Guide to Igor Stravinsky gives you a quick intro to his famous works.
A roundup of BBC radio episodes on Igor Stravinsky.
Looking for More Art and Music Ideas?