Sergei Rachmaninoff

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Pianist
QUICK FACTS
Date of Birth April 1, 1873
Place of Birth Russia
Date of Death Mar 28, 1943 (69)
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Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist, and conductor of the late Romantic period. The influence of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, and other Russian composers is seen in his early works, later giving way to a personal style notable for song-like melodicism, expressiveness and rich orchestral colors. Born into a musical family, Rachmaninoff took up the piano at the age of four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892, having already composed several piano and orchestral pieces. In 1897, following the negative critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. In the course of the next sixteen years, Rachmaninoff conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, relocated to Dresden, Germany, and toured the United States for the first time.

About Sergei Rachmaninoff

Celebrated Russian pianist, conductor, and composer who was one of the last Romantic artists in Russian classical music.

Before Fame

His earliest compositions were written while he was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, including the pieces that would comprise Piano Concerto No. 1, Youth Symphony, Prince Rostislav, which was a symphonic poem, and The Rock, which was an orchestral fantasia.

Achievement

He fled Russia because of the 1917 Russian Revolution and spent a year performing in Scandinavia, eventually coming to the United States where his final years would be artistically and personally fulfilling.

Family Life

His mother gave him piano lessons beginning at four, but after his talent became evident, his grandfather insisted that he receive formal piano training, bringing Anna Ornatskaya down from Saint Petersburg for several years. He married Natalia Alexandrovna Satin on May 12, 1902, and they parented two children together.

Associations

His Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini was frequently quoted and sampled in other works, including the classic 1980 romantic science fiction film Somewhere in Time, which was written by Richard Matheson.

Information related to Sergei Rachmaninoff

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  • 19th-century male conductors (music)
  • Imperial Russian emigrants to Finland
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  • Russian Orthodox Christians from Russia
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  • Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medallists
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  • Russian conductors (music)
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  • Russian classical pianists
  • 19th-century conductors (music)
  • Moscow Conservatory alumni
  • 19th-century classical pianists
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Latest information about Sergei Rachmaninoff updated on October 23, 2020.

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