To anyone looking to buy the former home of arguably the most famous composer of the 20th century – Alex Ross tweeted last week:
“[Igor] Stravinsky’s Hollywood home is back on the market – considerably cheaper than the Thomas Mann house:”
Anybody wanna go in on it with me? It’s only four million bucks. As Ross mentioned in his tweet, it’s considerably cheaper than German expat, writer, and Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Mann’s villa which was just purchased by the German state for $13 million. Mann’s villa is roughly double the size of Stravinsky’s home. Mann and Stravinsky both fled to the United States from Europe as World War II was getting underway.
One LA classical music celebrity had Stravinsky’s old haunt in his sights back in 1996 but Ross says he may have found the ghost of Stravinsky a little too intimidating.
“Some years back, [Esa-Pekka Salonen] considered buying the Stravinsky house, but he was spooked by the fact that you could still see indentations on the carpet where the composer’s piano had stood.”
Perhaps Salonen was actually worried about the ghost of Stravinsky’s piano. Longtime Stravinsky friend, writer, and collaborator Robert Craft notes that Stravinsky’s piano was perpetually out of tune in that West Hollywood abode. While this never bothered the iconic composer, it was often a cause for alarm among his visiting composer and musician friends.
According to Brian Lauritzen of KUSC, the home sold for $700,000 in ’96 when the former LA Phil conductor Salonen considered buying it.
Stravinsky showed up on LA’s doorstep in 1940 and would move into the home at 1260 North Wetherly Drive shortly thereafter. Stravinsky stayed put for 23 years until he moved next door. It’s curious that Stravinsky’s name is not mentioned at all in the listing seeing as his time in that home is the longest he’d ever spent in one place.
That said, if you are interested, the next open house takes place on Sunday, August 12 at 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.