Interview: Lauren Stringer, 'When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky'

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
April 23, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota children's author and illustrator Lauren Stringer says she loves the explosive charge in the arts at the beginning of the 20th century. She captures one of the most explosive moments of all in her book, When Stravinsky met Njinsky. Two Artists, Their Ballet and One Extraordinary Riot.

The idea for the book struck Stringer back in 2005, when she was leafing through a Minnesota Orchestra program. "I saw a photograph of Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Njisky, and they were both very young," she recalls. " I've seen lots of photos of Stravinsky as a very old, famous composer but to see them there so young, I said to my husband, 'Look how young they are. What do you think it was like when Stravinsky met Njinksy. Wouldn't that be a great title for a book?' And it all kind of tumbled into a story that was put in and out of files for many years, but it started with a title and a photo."

Stringer's book provides the basis for a Friends and Family set of concerts this Sunday, April 27, with the Minnesota Orchestra playing the Rite of Spring. Lauren Stringer will read the book and the orchestra will play all of Stravinsky's monumental classic as historic slides will be screened behind the orchestra during the performance.

The concerts are at 1 and 3 p.m., and kids get in free. Books will be available for purchase at the concert, through St. Paul's Red Balloon bookstore.

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