Igor Stravinsky was born on June 17, 1882 in Oranienbaum near St. Petersburg, Russia. He started piano lessons at the age of nine and began the serious study of composition. At the age of 20 as a law student he met Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and became his private student. His conservative early scores were greatly influenced by his teacher and by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Stravinsky’s defining musical development came when he composed three ballets for Sergei Diaghilev’s Paris-based Russian ballet company He composed The Firebird (1910), Petrouchka (1911), and The Rite of Spring (1913). All three ballets were based on Russian folk tales. He is considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century.