Born in Russia in 1891, Serge Prokofiev tirelessly devoted himself to the search for a new, individual music. His rich creative life coincided with the artistic, cultural, and political tumult that forged the early life of the Soviet Union. When first performed, much of Prokofiev's work was greeted with scorn and derision. However, the fiery Russian composer went on to exert an influence on modern music which is still being felt to this day. This study by one France's most eminent musicologists gives a detailed account of Prokofiev's development as a composer, including his progressive search for new musical forms and his heady collaborations with Serge Diaghilev's fabulous Ballets Russes. The book is heavily illustrated throughout with many rare photographs and drawings, as well as scores, costume designs and choreographic sketches.