This is one title in a series of short, illustrated biographies. They tell the stories of those who have shaped our present and our past, from Beethoven to Dietrich, from Einstein to Churchill and are suitable for students and the general reader. Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) lived a life caught between East and West, old and new. He was born in Russia, but left for America after the 1917 Revolution. He returned a decade later as a musical celebrity, but his relationship with the Soviet authorities deteriorated into condemnation and censorship. Some critics have branded his music Socialist Realism and he received praise from the Soviets for his collaborations with the film-maker Sergei Eisenstein. His admirers celebrate his wit and charm and the unique blend of the traditional and the modern in his many piano works, his opera The Love for Three Oranges, his ballet music for Romeo and Juliet and the musical fairy tale Peter and the Wolf. Prokofiev died a few hours before his nemesis Stalin, on 5 March 1953.