Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (23 April 1891, Sontsovka – 5 March 1953, Moscow) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His best-known works include the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken – and Peter and the Wolf. Besides many other works, Prokofiev also composed five piano concertos, nine completed piano sonatas and seven symphonies. His only two known works specifically for wind band are March, Opus 99, and Athletic Festival March.
A graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist, achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant and virtuosic works for his instrument and his first two piano concertos. Prokofiev's first major success breaking out of the composer-pianist mould was with his purely orchestral Scythian Suite, compiled from music originally composed for a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets Russes; Diaghilev commissioned three further ballets from Prokofiev – Chout, Le pas d'acier and The Prodigal Son – which at the time of their original production were all highly successful. Prokofiev's greatest interest, however, was opera, and he composed several works in that genre, including The Gambler and The Fiery Angel. Prokofiev's one relative success in that genre during his lifetime was The Love for Three Oranges, composed for Chicago and subsequently performed over the following decade in Europe and Russia.
After the Revolution, Prokofiev left Russia ... and lived in the United States, then Germany, then Paris, during which time he married a Spanish singer, Carolina ('Lina') Codina, with whom he had two sons. Because of the increasing economic deprivation of Europe, Prokofiev returned to Russia in 1936. He enjoyed some success there – notably with Lieutenant Kijé, Peter and the Wolf, Romeo and Juliet, and perhaps above all with Alexander Nevsky. The Nazi invasion of the USSR spurred him to compose his most ambitious work, an operatic version of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. In 1948 Prokofiev was criticized for "anti-democratic formalism", and with his income severely curtailed was forced to compose Stalinist works such as On Guard for Peace. However, he also enjoyed personal and artistic support from a new generation of Russian performers, notably Sviatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich and for the latter he composed his Symphony-Concerto.
Works for Winds
- Athletic Festival March (arr. Goldman) (1936/1980)
- Dance of the Knights (trans. Jones) (1935/2019)
- Finale to "Symphony No 1" (tr. Johnson) (1917/2016)
- Gavotte (arr. Gordon)
- Lieutenant Kije Symphonic Suite (arr. Schyns)
- March from "The Love of Three Oranges" (arr. Cray) (1921/1943)
- Marche from the Opera "Love for Three Oranges" (arr. Erickson) (1921/1992)
- Marche from "The Love of Three Oranges," Opus 33 (arr Johnson) (arr. Johnson) (1921/1947)
- March, Opus 69 (arr. Gingery) (1937/1985)
- March, Opus 99 (arr. Meredith) (1943-44/2017)
- March, Opus 99 (arr. Mindeman) (1943-44)
- March, Opus 99 (arr. Yoder; ed. Berz) (1943-44)
- Masquerade Variations On A Theme Of Prokofiev (arr. Gryc)
- Music for Children (arr. Ahronheim)
- Ode to the End of the War (1945/1969/1979)
- Peter and the Wolf (arr. Daniels) (1936)
- Peter and the Wolf (arr. Curnow) (1936/1986)
- Romeo and Juliet (arr. Johan de Meij) (1935/1990)
- Visions fugitives (orch. Missal) (1917/2017)
- Wikipedia: Sergei Prokofiev
- Rehrig, William H. (2005). The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Complete CD ROM Edition. np: The Robert Hoe Foundation.