3. Serge Diaghilev

Sergei Diaghilev was born to a wealthy and cultured family in Russia. After the death of Sergei's mother, his father remarried an artistic young woman who was on very affectionate terms with her stepson and was a strong influence on him. He later went to study law, but ended up also studying music and singing. After graduating in 1892 he abandoned his dreams when one of his teachers told him he had no talent. He eventually became an art expert in Russian art.

This later led to an invitation to Paris and he returned the following year work with ballet as well as opera, and thus to the launching of his famous Ballet Russes. The company included the best young Russian dancers, among them Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky. The Ballet Russes collaborated with composer such as Stravinsky and artists including Matisse and Picasso.