Sergei Prokofiev, classical music composer

Sergei Prokofiev image

Sergei Prokofiev

Biography

Born April 23, 1891 in an isolated rural estate in what is now modern-day Ukraine, Sergei Prokofiev displayed an early inclination for music. Enraptured by his mother's daily practicing of works by Beethoven and Chopin, Sergei attempted his first compositions at the age of five. Four years later, he attempted his first opera—a genre to which he was naturally drawn but only achieved limited success in during his career. In 1902, Sergei's mother, with the help of the director of the Moscow Conservatory, arranged for the composer and pianist Reinhold Glière to spend the summer of 1902 tutoring her son in music. Impressed with the young boy's potental, Glière returned the following summer to continue Sergei's education. Seeking out a more favorable cultural environment, Sergei and his mother traveled to Saint Petersburg in 1904. He was introduced to Alexander Galzunov, a professor at the Conservatory, who urged him to apply to study there. At the Conservatory, Sergei developed a reputation as a musical rebel and though he did receive praise for his original, and often shocking, compositions, he graduated with unimpressive marks.

Following his time at the Conservatory, Prokofiev traveled to London where he was introduced to the impresario Sergei Diaghilev, who subsequently commissioned the ballet Chout (The Fool). The premiere took place in Paris on May 17, 1921 and was a great success for the young composer, drawing even the praise of Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel. However, the ensuing troubled times that engulfed the European continent severely affected the remainder of Prokofiev's career.

With the outbreak of World War I, Prokofiev returned to the Conservatory to avoid conscription. Worried that the Germans would capture Saint Petersburg, Prokofiev decided to flee Russia, at least temporarily, in 1918. In May of that year, he left for the United States but not before making important acquaintances with the now reigning Bolsheviks. In America, Prokofiev was compared to other Russian exiles, such as Sergei Rachmaninoff. Unable to launch a successful career as a pianist and with no luck in his operatic attempts, Prokofiev moved on to Paris in 1920. Though the French capital was more accepting to his musical style, critical reception of his work was tepid at best. In the meantime, however, his music began cultivating a following in Soviet Russia.

Prokofiev returned to Russia in 1936. Driven by a desire to return to his homeland, the move was perhaps not in the best interest of his career. Despite the acquaintances he had made with Bolsheviks before his departure in 1918, he, along with Shostakovich, came under scrutiny by Soviet regime, who wanted to turn Russia's artistic focus inward to the entire neglect of the rest of the world. During World War II, the Soviet's censorship of art was considerably slackened and the works Prokofiev composed during this time are often interpreted as a subtle, but harsh, criticism of Soviet policies. However, after the war's end, the Soviets doubled-down on their control of artists. Prokofiev was now viewed as "anti-democratic" and much of his music was banned. Afraid of the consequences of supporting an artist denounced by the Soviet regime, many concert and theater administrators refused to program Prokofiev's music. His health declining and his music bearing the black mark of the State, Prokofiev began to withdraw from active musical life. At the age of 61, he died on March 5, 1953.


Composer Title Date Action
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata for Piano and Flute Op. 94, No. 2 02/03/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sarcasms, Op. 17 01/25/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev The Owl and the Pussycat 05/26/2010 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev "Suggestion Diabolique", Op.4, No.4 10/18/2010 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Orchestra Pieces 10/08/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Musical Moment 02/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Serenade 02/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Symphony 7 10/19/2012 Play
Sergei Prokofiev Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet 01/20/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet 07/21/2013 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Five pieces from the ballet Romeo and Juliet for viola and piano 01/24/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev March from the opera "Love to the three oranges" 02/14/2010 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Visions Fugitives 09/30/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Concerto no. 2 in g minor, Op. 16 mvmt.1 11/24/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26 12/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op.92 03/16/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 1 in f minor, Op. 80 for violin and piano 01/12/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 1 in f minor 01/12/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94 bis 07/23/2012 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94 bis 01/17/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94 bis 06/01/2010 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major 01/15/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major, op.119 11/06/2013 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major, op.119 06/06/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major, op.119 11/17/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major, op.119 05/19/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Suggestion Diabolique Op. 4 No. 4 02/04/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 01/25/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 01/26/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 04/09/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 7 Op 83 III movimento 08/27/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 10/07/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 7 III movimento 10/15/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 12/04/2012 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Toccata for Piano, Op. 11 (arr. for a sextet) 12/12/2012 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Toccata, Op. 11 01/25/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op.82 04/22/2013 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op.82 (Allegro Moderato) 08/08/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 8 in B-flat Major, Op. 84 03/12/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 9 in C major, op. 103 05/31/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev The Ugly Duckling 05/26/2010 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata no. 3 Op. 28 10/02/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 29 09/26/2013 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 4 in C minor, op. 29 05/02/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Scherzo, Op. 12, No. 10 01/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev March from the opera "Love to the three oranges" piano David-Michael Dunbar 12/26/2013 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No.2 D minor op.14 4th moviment 02/08/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No.2 in D minor op.14 3rd moviment 02/08/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14 05/30/2011 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Five Melodies for violin & piano, Op. 35 bis 04/16/2009 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 9, Op. 103 02/19/2014 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 1 in D-flat major, Op. 10 04/21/2014 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Concerto no. 2 in g minor, Op. 16 04/21/2014 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26 3mov 05/07/2014 Play
Sergei Prokofiev Etude Op.2 no.3 05/07/2014 Play
Sergei Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94 bis 09/24/2014 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 in F-flat Major, Op. 83 09/30/2014 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Waltz from Cinderella 02/09/2015 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev “Montagues and Capulets,” from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 03/04/2015 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Quintet - Tema con variazioni 03/10/2015 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata no. 8 04/18/2015 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op.82 07/30/2015 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op.82 04/17/2016 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Visions Fugitives Op.22 'Poetico' XVII 04/18/2016 Play
Sergei Prokofiev Op.22 no.9 05/03/2016 Play
Sergei Prokofiev Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major 09/21/2016 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 1 in f minor 09/29/2016 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 29, 1. Allegro molto sostenuto 10/20/2016 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 29, 2.Andante assai 10/21/2016 Play Add to playlist
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 29, 3.Allegro con brio, ma non leggiere 10/21/2016 Play Add to playlist