June 17 – Stravinsky, Society’s Child

1882

Birthday of Russian composer, pianist, conductor Igor Stravinsky, one of the 20th century’s most influential composers.

He’s born in a Saint Petersburg suburb where his father is a bass singer at the Mariinsky Theatre, and begins piano lessons as a young boy. Underwhelmed by law school, in 1902 he begins studies under Rimsky-Korsakov in Heidelberg.

His early works (influenced by the French impressionists) are his most famous: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911/1947), and The Rite of Spring (1913).

My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit. —  Stravinsky, Poetics of Music

▷Classical Net bio ▹  ~ Pictures of Famous Composers 

1967

In 1966, Verve Records released (for the third time) a recording that Atlantic Records paid for but refused to release.

Nine months later, fifteen-year-old Janis Ian has her first heartbreaking (controversial, US#14) hit. (Conductor Leonard Bernstein featured the song in an April 25 CBS TV special titled Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution. Bernstein rock video

Society’s Child (*) is about interracial romance; is it coincidence that, five days earlier, the US Supremes decide a case called Loving v. Virginia which overturns laws forbidding interracial marriage??
Janis would have a top ten hit single 8 years later.
( Website ) ▷NPR:Ian ▹

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