The prolific creator of such classic popular works as Romeo and Juliet, Peter and the Wolf, and Cinderella, Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was one of the most important and influential composers of the twentieth century. In this definitive biography of Prokofiev, Harlow Robinson provides a richly detailed portrait of a man whose complex character, like his music, combined the traditional and the contemporary in odd and unexpected ways.
Drawing on unprecedented access to previously unknown or unavailable Russian-language sources, including extensive archival material, Robinson traces Prokofiev's extraordinary life from the fairy-tale world of Czarist Russia, through his many years abroad in America and Europe, to his perlexing permanent return to Moscow in 1936 under the Soviet Regime. That Prokofiev died on the very day as Josef Stalin, his principal persecutor, was the final irony of his intense and enigmatic career.
Harlow Robinson is Professor of Modern Languages and History at Northeastern University. He is the author of The Last Impresario: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Sol Hurok and the editor and translator of Selected Letters of Sergei Prokofiev, also published by Northeastern University Press. He is a contributor to the New York Times, Opera News, Dance Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the Metropolitan Opera-Texaco International Radio Network. He lives in the Boston area.