Stravinsky: the evolution of genius
This year marks the hundredth anniversary since the debut of Igor Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring'. Noted for its experimentation with rhythmic structure it has become one of the most recorded pieces of classical music in history and has helped secure Stravinsky's legacy as one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century.
'Stravinsky's Piano: Genesis of a Musical Language', a new book by Dr Graham Griffiths, Music Lecturer at City University London, examines the great composer's career and musical evolution and, fittingly for a book by an academic and teacher, the education that Stravinsky received from Leokadiya Kashperova, for piano and Rimsky-Korsakov, for instrumentation.
The book was launched at an event at City during which Dr Griffiths gave an illustrated talk which concluded with a performance of Stravinsky's neoclassical masterpiece, the 'Sonate pour piano' of 1924.
The event was hosted by Stephen Cottrell, Professor of Music and Head of the Department of Creative Practice & Enterprise, Professor Cottrell took the opportunity to announce the appointment of Dr Griffiths as Lecturer in Music at City University London. One of his first contributions to the BMus course will be a ten-lecture module entitled 'Back to the Future? Neoclassicism as Musical Progress'.
Dr Griffiths said: "It was a delightful experience for me to discuss my book surrounded by colleagues, students, friends, family and distinguished guests, and a privilege, indeed, to welcome Dr Lyubov Osinkina of the University of St Petersburg as our guest.
"I was also honoured to receive a message of support from the composer's great-granddaughter Marie Iellatchitch-Stravinsky, representing the Igor Stravinsky Foundation, based in Geneva."
'Stravinsky's Piano: Genesis of a Musical Language', By Dr Graham Griffiths is published by Cambridge University Press and is available for consultation at the Main Library in Northampton Square.