Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, conductor, pianist, representative of the directions of symbolism and neo-Romanticism in academic music. He combined the principles of the St. Petersburg and Moscow schools of composition in his work (as well as a mixture of the traditions of Western European and Middle Eastern music) and created his own original style. He was born in Onega Estate in the Novgorod governorate, in a noble musical family. He studied at the St. Petersburg and then at the Moscow Conservatory, from which he graduated with a large gold medal in 1892. Performing concerts all over Russia, Rachmaninoff quickly became famous as an outstanding pianist. From 1904 to 1906 he successfully worked as a conductor in the Bolshoi Theatre. Rachmaninoff’s fame grew every year. He was known in Russia, in Europe and North America as the greatest pianist, a wonderful conductor and composer, although the performance of his First Symphony was not a success. In 1917, he went to Europe, after several months of touring in Scandinavia, finally settled in the United States. Rachmaninoff often toured Europe and North America. He died in Beverly Hills (California). Rachmaninoff is the author of three operas (including “Aleko”), three symphonies, works for orchestra, four piano concertos, a rhapsody on the theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra, choral works, numerous piano works, songs and romances. Being very close in style to the Russian national school, especially to the music of Tchaikovsky, with whom he was well-acquainted, Rachmaninoff used all the achievements of the XXth century in the field of music – both in musical form and in performance technique. His works are exceptionally diverse in character and dramatic tension, and in piano parts he made excellent use of all the technical capabilities of this instrument. His songs and romances are distinguished by deep lyricism and accurate musical characterization of images. A memorial plaque has been installed in Strastnoy Boulevard in Moscow in honour of the great composer. The following inscription is carved on it: «In this house in 1905-1917, the great Russian composer Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff lived and worked».
Address: Moscow, Strastnoy Boulevard, 5