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Sergei Prokofiev


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(1891 – 1953)

Sergei Prokofiev (Russian: Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев, 1891 -1953) was a major composer of the 20th century. Prokofiev was born in Sontsovka (now Krasne in Donetsk oblast, Ukraine).

Prokofiev took piano, theory, and composition lessons from Reinhold Glière, then enrolled at the St. Petersburg Conservatory when he was thirteen. He took theory with Anatoly Lyadov, orchestration with Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and became lifelong friends with Nicolai Myaskovsky. After graduating, he began performing in St. Petersburg and in Moscow, then in Western Europe, all the while writing more music.

Prokofiev’s earliest fame was as a pianist and composer for the piano, with works like the Sarcasms, op. 17 (1912-1914), and Visions fugitives, op. 22 (1915-1917), and his first few piano sonatas. He also wrote orchestral works, concertos, and operas, and talked to Sergei Diaghilev about producing ballets. The years immediately after the Revolution were spent in the U.S., where Prokofiev tried to follow Sergei Rachmaninov’s lead and make his way as a pianist/composer. His commission for The Love for Three Oranges came from the Chicago Opera in 1919, but overall Prokofiev was disappointed by his American reception, and he returned to Europe in 1922.

He married singer Lina Llubera in 1923, and the couple moved to Paris. He continued to compose on commission, meeting with mixed success from both critics and the public. He had maintained contact with the Soviet Union, even toured there in 1927. The Love for Three Oranges was part of the repertory there, and the government commissioned the music for the film Lieutenant Kijé and other pieces from him. In 1936, he decided to return to the Soviet Union with his wife and two sons.


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  • mysmileisstuck

    Sorry, I meant Shostakovich, not Prokofiev

    15 Nov 10:00pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    I know about Stravinskij having Polish roots, but about Prokofiev... Could you show me any serious proof of that? I never really heard about it...

    13 Nov 2:39pm Reply
  • mysmileisstuck

    Both Stravinsky and Prokofiev had Polish roots but they were Russians, Stravinsky's ancestor even participated in the assassination of the king Stanislaw Poniatovsky...

    8 Nov 4:56pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    And by the way, Chopin is Polish. And his heart is in Poland.

    7 Nov 5:13pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    Well, I am proud that I was not born in Africa and I am proud that I am European. I think its explainable even by economical/political reasons. And the reason why Ukrainians and Russians now want to split them between the Ukrainian and Russian, is because most Ukrainians are very mad at Russians, and there are reasons why they are. And also Russians (most) are really mad at Ukrainians. You know, it is not really the right times for any of those to talk about 'national' pride. Its not even about genetic thing anymore. It would be stupid to say that Polish people are same just like French and backwards. So, it is nothing about a pride for Ukrainians or Russian anymore. Do you remember how many German-Americans did not want to be known as German Americans in war times? How they changed their surnames from Schmidt to Smith and etc? And we was able to tell them all this bullshit like that about pride too.

    7 Nov 2:25pm Reply
  • Unknowny503

    In these precise moments when I witness endless talks on whether Chopin to be called as a Polish or French composer and Prokofiev Russian or Ukrainian, etc. I instantly recall Carlin's vision on national pride. Quote: “Pride should be reserved for something you achieve or obtain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth. Being Irish isn't a skill... it's a fucking genetic accident. You wouldn't say I'm proud to be 5'11"; I'm proud to have a pre-disposition for colon cancer.”

    5 Nov 12:11pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    He was born in what is now Ukrainian territory correct, but from Russian speaking part and I am quite sure he considered himself perhaps a Russian... Ukrainians have the right to be proud of him too but I think it will be more correct to call him a Russian by national though.

    20 Oct 11:47am Reply
  • KingsAndQueen

    Thanks for clearing this up, for some reason I had him tagged as Russian. Now I've corrected it

    20 Sep 2:00am Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    Prichёm tut Ukraina to?) On Russki vooche-to.

    30 Jul 7:08pm Reply
  • RonanEduardo

    Another Russian Genius [9]

    24 Jun 10:50pm Reply
  • pts01

    Sala Ukrajini.

    25 May 5:25am Reply
  • Xhi

    Another Russian Genius [8]

    22 May 6:57pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda


    30 Apr 6:20am Reply
  • Poirot2014

    The two violin concertos are phenomenal!

    21 Apr 7:03pm Reply
  • Wandadocet


    24 Mar 7:46pm Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    не новатор и не самый интересный русский композитор XX века, но очень годный мелодист.

    10 Mar 1:12pm Reply
  • ballseven

    Peter and the Wolf <3

    29 Jan 5:26pm Reply
  • CarloDeDonno

    He was Ukrainian, not Russian. Slava Ukrajini.

    26 Jan 4:29pm Reply
  • cityofhumanity

    Still touring?! :)

    25 Jan 6:58pm Reply
  • bravuraindomita

    come to brazil wtf hahaha

    1 Jan 5:16am Reply
  • All 293 shouts