Stephen Johnson explores the parallel lives of Rachmaninov and Stravinsky as Russian emigres, and selects some highlights from the 2008 BBCSSO Russian Winter series.
Like many other Russian migrants, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov ended up in Southern California in the 1940s and were near-neighbours in Beverly Hills. They dined together once and Rachmaninov followed up that meeting with a gift of Stravinsky's favourite honey. It might have become a good friendship, but Rachmaninov was already terminally ill. It is unlikely, had he lived longer, that he would have influenced Stravinsky's music, but the reverse is not necessarily true given the neo-classical tendencies in Rachmaninov's later work.