Stravinsky was a Russian-American composer of modern classical music. He composed in the neo-classical and serialist styles, but he is best known for two works from his earlier, Russian period: The Rite of Spring and The Firebird. He originally trained as a lawyer, but turned to music aged 20 when he became the pupil of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the leading Russian composer of the time.
Stravinsky wrote in a broad spectrum of ensemble combinations and classical forms. His oeuvre included everything from symphonies to piano miniatures. Stravinsky also achieved fame as a pianist and conductor, often at the premieres of his own works. He was also a writer. With the help of his protégé Robert Craft, who helped with the composer's English grammar, Stravinsky composed a theoretical work entitled Poetics of Music.
A quintessentially cosmopolitan Russian, Stravinsky was one of the most authoritative composers in 20th century music, both in the West and in his native land.