April’s composer of the month is Sergei Prokofiev.
Born: April 23, 1891
Died: March 5, 1953
• Prokofiev was a child prodigy, composing his first piano piece at age five and his first opera at nine.
• He was an accomplished chess player, beating future world champion José Raúl Capablanca in 1914 (and later defeating fellow composer Maurice Ravel).
• In 1917, he composed his first symphony, the “Classical” Symphony, written (according to Prokofiev) “in the style that Haydn would have used if he had been alive.”
• He wrote Peter and the Wolf for the Moscow Children’s Musical Theater, and did so in less than two weeks.
• Prokofiev died on March 5, 1953, the same day that the death Joseph Stalin was announced. For three days, it was impossible to remove Prokofiev’s body from his home because of the throngs of people gathering to mourn Stalin.
Three important works:
• Symphony No. 1 in D major (1917)
• Piano Concerto No. 3 (1921)
• Peter and the Wolf (1936)
Audio Backpack playlist: Sergei Prokofiev