Born on April 23, 1891 in Sontsovka, Ukraine of the former Russian Empire, Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev is considered one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.
He was also an accomplished pianist and conductor. He attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory from 1904 to 1914, winning the Anton Rubinstein prize for best student pianist when he graduated. Like other great composers he mastered a wide range of musical genres, including seven symphonies, various concerti, film music, operas, ballets, a large body of piano music, and program pieces. At the time, his works were considered both ultra-modern and innovative.
He traveled widely, spending many years in Paris and Ettal in the Bavarian Alps, and toured the United States five times. He gained wide notoriety and his music was both reviled and triumphed by the musical press of the time. He returned to his homeland permanently in 1936. He died on March 5, 1953 in Moscow.