Born April 27, 1891 in Sontsovka, Ukraine
Died March 5, 1953 in Moscow
Peter and the Wolf, Scythian Suite, Romeo and Juliet
Prokofiev, whose mother was a pianist, was a child prodigy and virtuoso pianist who composed his first opera when he was twelve years old. He was also something of a spoiled brat, and throughout his life he liked to break rules.
He left Russia in 1917 and lived in the United States and then France. He moved back to Russia in 1936, just as the Communists were coming into power and dictating very strict rules for everyone, even for the kind of music composers could write! From this time on, his life as a composer in Russia was very hard. He always remembered his happy childhood, and much of his music is playful and full of humor. One of his best known compositions is Peter and the Wolf.