Sergei Rachmaninov
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/960x540/p01bqg5b.jpg
1873-04-01
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/44b16e44-da77-4580-b851-0d765904573e
Sergei Rachmaninov

Sergei Rachmaninov Biography (BBC)

Rachmaninov was born into a family of Russian landowners in financial decline and his parents separated when he was still at school. Despite this, family connections were important: he married a cousin, and another cousin, the pianist Alexander Siloti, taught him at the Moscow Conservatory. There, his studies were supervised by a musical ‘godfather’, Nikolay Zverev, with whom he also lodged. But Zverev wanted Rachmaninov to be a pianist and threw him out of the house when he persisted with composition. Rachmaninov got his revenge when his one-act opera Aleko (1892) won the highest possible marks in his final exam. This led to a publishing contract and a premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre.

Meanwhile, Rachmaninov had written his Prelude in C sharp minor, whose popularity was to hound him in later life. He began his First Symphony in 1895, the disastrous premiere of which in 1897 led to a creative block of almost three years. Rachmaninov was no mean conductor himself and, when he found it almost impossible to compose, he launched what was virtually a third career – conducting opera. Though he recovered from the crisis in creative self-confidence with the help of Dr Nikolay Dahl, he always doubted the worth of his music, which he often revised with substantial cuts.

In 1906, shortly after the first signs of political unrest in Russia, Rachmaninov and his family left for Dresden, where he wrote his Second Symphony and First Piano Sonata. For his first tour of America as a pianist he composed his Third Piano Concerto (1909). His earnings enabled him to buy a car, and in the same year his uncle made over to him the country estate of Ivanovka. But Rachmaninov’s world was to be shattered by the Revolution of 1917, although the composer attempted to recreate it in the USA by buying a house there, giving it the same name as his Russian estate and filling it with Russian friends.

Considered one of the greatest pianists of his time, Rachmaninov was never poor. But his luxurious lifestyle depended on exhausting concert tours and took him away from composing. Arguably, his exile from Russia, as well as radical changes in the arts, made his type of epic Romanticism impossible to sustain. Yet he didn’t remain altogether aloof from contemporary musical developments, for his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934) does have, as well as tender passages, a lean and biting quality, characteristics also present in the Symphonic Dances of 1940.

Profile by Adrian Jack © BBC

Sergei Rachmaninov Biography (Wikipedia)

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff (1 April [O.S. 20 March] 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor of the late Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the Romantic repertoire.

Born into a musical family, Rachmaninoff took up the piano at age 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. For the next sixteen years, Rachmaninoff conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, relocated to Dresden, Germany, and toured the United States for the first time.

Following the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninoff and his family left Russia; in 1918, they settled in the United States, first in New York City. With his main source of income coming from piano and conducting performances, demanding tour schedules led to a reduction in his time for composition; between 1918 and 1943, he completed just six works, including Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Symphony No. 3, and Symphonic Dances. By 1942, his failing health led to his relocation to Beverly Hills, California. One month before his death from advanced melanoma, Rachmaninoff was granted American citizenship.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Sergei Rachmaninov Performances & Interviews


Sergei Rachmaninov Tracks

Sort by

Sergei Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto No.2 in C Minor, Op.18: I - Moderato
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No.2 in C Minor, Op.18: I - Moderato
Sergei Rachmaninov
6 Duets Op.11 for piano 4 hands
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
6 Duets Op.11 for piano 4 hands
Sergei Rachmaninov
Romance (Suite No 2 for two pianos, Op 17)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Romance (Suite No 2 for two pianos, Op 17)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Ave Maria (Vespers)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Ave Maria (Vespers)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Romance in F minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Romance in F minor
Sergei Rachmaninov
3 Pieces from Morceaux de salon for piano, Op 10
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
3 Pieces from Morceaux de salon for piano, Op 10
Sergei Rachmaninov
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 2 in C minor op. 18 (Adagio Sostenuto)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 2 in C minor op. 18 (Adagio Sostenuto)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Symphonic Dances Op 45
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphonic Dances Op 45
Sergei Rachmaninov
Elegiac trio no. 1 in G minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Elegiac trio no. 1 in G minor
Sergei Rachmaninov
1st movement from Piano Sonata no 2 in B flat minor, Op 36
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
1st movement from Piano Sonata no 2 in B flat minor, Op 36
Sergei Rachmaninov
Theme and Variations from Corelli Variations, Op 42
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Theme and Variations from Corelli Variations, Op 42
Sergei Rachmaninov
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45: I. Non allegro
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45: I. Non allegro
Sergei Rachmaninov
'Lilacs', Op 21 no 5
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
'Lilacs', Op 21 no 5
Sergei Rachmaninov
Morceaux de Fantasie Op.3: No.4 Polichinelle in F sharp minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Morceaux de Fantasie Op.3: No.4 Polichinelle in F sharp minor
Sergei Rachmaninov
Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.44
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.44
Sergei Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 18
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 18
Sergei Rachmaninov
Vocalise
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vocalise
Sergei Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto no.2 in C minor (1st mvt: Moderato)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Piano Concerto no.2 in C minor (1st mvt: Moderato)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Prelude no.13 in D flat major [from 13 Preludes Op.32 for piano]
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude no.13 in D flat major [from 13 Preludes Op.32 for piano]
Sergei Rachmaninov
Etude-Tableau in F sharp minor (Op.39 No.3)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Etude-Tableau in F sharp minor (Op.39 No.3)
Felix Mendelssohn
Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream
Sergei Rachmaninov
Zdes Khorosho
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Zdes Khorosho
Sergei Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 18 (3rd mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 18 (3rd mvt)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Symphony No.2 in E Minor, Op.27, Allegro Molto
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony No.2 in E Minor, Op.27, Allegro Molto
Sergei Rachmaninov
Vespers: VII. Glory to God in the Hghest
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vespers: VII. Glory to God in the Hghest
Sergei Rachmaninov
Lilacs
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Lilacs
Sergei Rachmaninov
Melodiya (From 12 songs Op 21)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Melodiya (From 12 songs Op 21)
Fritz Kreisler
Liebeslied
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqxk8.jpg
link
Liebeslied
Sergei Rachmaninov
Moment Musicaux Op. 16 No. 1 in B Flat minor; Andantino
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Moment Musicaux Op. 16 No. 1 in B Flat minor; Andantino
Sergei Rachmaninov
Etudes-tableaux Op 33 (1911)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Etudes-tableaux Op 33 (1911)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Vocalise
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vocalise

Vocalise

Singer
Polina Pasztircsák
Sergei Rachmaninov
Prelude in G minor, op. 23 no. 5
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude in G minor, op. 23 no. 5
Sergei Rachmaninov
Barcarolle, Op 5 No 1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Barcarolle, Op 5 No 1
Sergei Rachmaninov
Cello Sonata in G minor Op 19
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Cello Sonata in G minor Op 19
Sergei Rachmaninov
Symphony No 2 in E minor, Op 27 (3rd mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony No 2 in E minor, Op 27 (3rd mvt)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Prelude in G major, Op 32 No 5
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude in G major, Op 32 No 5
Sergei Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto No 3 In D Minor, Op 30: I. Allegro Ma Non Tanto
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No 3 In D Minor, Op 30: I. Allegro Ma Non Tanto
Sergei Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op.18 (1st mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op.18 (1st mvt)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Vocalise, Op 34 No 14
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vocalise, Op 34 No 14
Sergei Rachmaninov
Romance and Waltz
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Romance and Waltz

Romance and Waltz

Ensemble
Dutch Pianists Quartet
Sergei Rachmaninov
Romance (Suite No 2 for two pianos, Op 17)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Romance (Suite No 2 for two pianos, Op 17)
Sergei Rachmaninov
No.s 8 and 10 from 10 Preludes, Op.23
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
No.s 8 and 10 from 10 Preludes, Op.23
Sergei Rachmaninov
No.s 9-12 from 13 Preludes, Op. 32
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
No.s 9-12 from 13 Preludes, Op. 32
Sergei Rachmaninov
Symphony No 2 in E minor, Op 27 (4th mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony No 2 in E minor, Op 27 (4th mvt)
Sergei Rachmaninov
Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op 42 for piano
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op 42 for piano
Sergei Rachmaninov
Etudes-Tableaux Op33 No 9 in C sharp minor Op39 No 1 in Cminor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Etudes-Tableaux Op33 No 9 in C sharp minor Op39 No 1 in Cminor
Sergei Rachmaninov
2 Songs - When Night Descends in silence & Oh stop thy singing maiden fair
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
2 Songs - When Night Descends in silence & Oh stop thy singing maiden fair
Load more tracks
Playlists featuring Sergei Rachmaninov


Past BBC Events

Proms 2018: Prom 59: Relaxed Prom
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/epncd4
Royal Albert Hall
2018-08-27T16:40:44
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/208x117/p061vs1d.jpg
27
Aug
2018
Proms 2018: Prom 59: Relaxed Prom

Proms 2018: Prom 59: Relaxed Prom

Royal Albert Hall

Latest Sergei Rachmaninov News

    Donald Trump's unexpected thoughts on music - revealed
    What song does the President-elect sing in the shower and does he like reggae? We trawled his many books to find out...
    Why Rachmaninoff's music is the perfect soundtrack to New Year's Day
    It's no accident that BBC Four are showing a new documentary on the Russian composer today
Back to artist