Today is the 132nd birthday of one of the greatest 20th-century composers, Igor Stravinsky. Besides being one of the greatest composers, he was one of the most-traveled, living in pre-Soviet Russia, in Paris, and in the United States and traveling just about everywhere else in the world as a guest composer, pianist, and conductor. In 1966 Stravinsky’s travels brought him to the Eastman School of Music, where he spent a week giving master classes and conducting his Firebird Suite with the Eastman Philharmonia. An article in the June 2003 Eastman Notes recalls this momentous visit:
Stravinsky’s pungent Symphonies of Wind Instruments was featured on one of the famous 1950s Mercury LPs by the Eastman Wind Ensemble led by Frederick Fennell; you can hear the 1957 recording here. More recently, Eastman musicians under Mark Scatterday recorded Stravinsky’s Octet and L’Histoire du Soldat.