Prokofiev

SERGEY PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)

Sergey Prokofiev, precocious as a child, entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1904, by which time he had already written a great deal of music. At the Conservatory he shocked the more conservative director, Glazunov, but learned much from an older fellow-student, the composer Myaskovsky. After the Revolution he was given permission to travel abroad and he remained intermittently out of Russia, in America and then in Paris, until his final return to Russia in 1936. At home, though in touch again with the root of his inspiration, he found himself out of favour with the authorities and in 1948 the subject of particular and direct censure. His death in 1953, on the same day as Stalin, deprived him of the enjoyment of the subsequent relaxation in musical censorship that then took place. In style Prokofiev is ironic, writing in a musical language that is often acerbic.

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