Sergey Vasilyevich


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. His work is closely connected with Russian culture in general and folk song in particular. He was born on March 20 (April 1), 1873 in Oneg Estate (according to other sources – in Semenovo Estate) of the Novgorod governorate in a noble family. From his early age he was fond of music, at the age of five he already played the piano. In 1882 he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Since 1885, he studied first at the junior (in the class of N. Zverev), and then at the senior department of the Moscow Conservatory with A. Ziloti, S. Taneev, A. Arensky. Sergey Vasilyevich graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in piano and composition classes with a gold medal in 1893. He was engaged in teaching. In 1897 he conducted at the Moscow Russian Private Opera, where he met Fyodor Shalyapin. Rachmaninoff completed his 2nd piano Concerto in 1901. Since 1904 he worked as a conductor at the Bolshoi Theatre. Since 1906 he travelled around the world, visiting Italy, Germany, North America, Canada. In 1909 he created the 3rd Piano Concerto. Shortly after the 1917 revolution, the composer was invited to perform at a concert in Stockholm. Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff left Russia together with his family, practically without means of livelihood. The revolution, the death of imperial Russia, the destruction of the foundations became a real tragedy for him. As Rachmaninoff had to provide for his family and pay off his debts, he began playing the piano again and performing concerts. At the end of 1918, Sergei Vasilyevich left for the USA. Despite his stormy concert activity, he practically did not create anything new at that time. Only in 1926-1927 the 4th Piano Concerto and a number of small works appeared. In 1941, Rachmaninoff finished his greatest work – «Symphonic Dances». A monument in memory of Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff has been erected in Strastnoy Boulevard in Moscow.

Address: Moscow, Strastnoy Boulevard