Diaghilev, Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes
“Of all the wonders that the world had to offer, only art promised immortality” – Sergei Diaghilev. In the early 20th century, the impresario Diaghilev arrived in Paris with a troupe of dancers recruited from the imperial ballet of St Petersburg. The troupe, who became known as the Ballets Russes went on to conquer Paris and then the rest of Europe. The pieces that were performed were new and were set among magnificent designs by Leon Bakst and other artists.
Russian composers Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Sergei Prokofiev ( 1891-1953) and Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-43) left their homeland before or during the Russian Revolution. The impact these three inspirational composers had on musical life in both their native country, their adopted homes and the musical world in general is worthy of exploration.