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Prokofiev’s Birthday Tribute: April 22, 2012

On April 27, we celebrate the 121st birthday of Russian master Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), whose melodic gifts and brilliant sense of orchestral color have made him among classical music’s most beloved composers. Prokofiev struck a creative balance between a loyalty to his Russian roots and identity on the one hand, and a more cosmopolitan outlook on the other – spending many years outside the Soviet Union, especially in Paris. Like his fellow-expatriate Igor Stravinsky, Prokofiev embraced modernist tendencies, but likewise displayed admiration for older “classical” approaches to form and musical discourse. This video presents an excerpt from one of his many “war horses” – the ballet Romeo and Juliet, Op.64, specifically the famed “Dance of the Knight”; it is here performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, from November 2008. Happy Birthday, Mr. Prokofiev!

Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, “Dance of the Knight”, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev

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