The claim is made in Robert Craft’s latest set of shavings from the workbench, titled ”Stravinsky Discoveries and Memories” and published by Naxos Books. It contains allusions that Craft has made on previous occasion but not, apparently, published in print.
In Chapter 12, “Amorous Augmentations”, he writes:
It will come as a surprise to most people that in the early Diaghilev period Stravinsky was exclusively in an ambisexual phase while writing Petrushka and the Rite of Spring…. The success of The Firebird was not without a bitter disappointment: the absence of its dedicatee, Stravinsky’s closest friend, Andrey Rimsky-Korsakov, elder son of the composer. In Stravinsky’s own words, he was in love with Andrey, a University of St. Petersburg classmate and music critic…
The principal figure in Stravinsky’s life throughout the period of The Rite of Spring was (Maurice) Delage… both men had been closely involved during and following Petrushka. In the spring of 1911 Stravinsky had spent a three-week vacation at Delage’s gay agapemone near Paris, not alone but with the notoriously homosexual Prince Argutinsky whose letters are still in private hands. A Russian gentleman who has read this correspondance told me a few months after Stravinsky’s death that Argutinsky’s letters are ‘very compromising to Stravinsky biography’. In the late summer of 1911 Stravinsky sent to Delage from Ustilug a photograph of himself in the nude with a prominent upwardly mobile nozzle.
(Obviously not the picture below, which has appeared in official Stravinsky memorabilia).
Should we be surprised? Does it change anything?
UPDATE: The debate continues here.