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

Sergey 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

Sergey Rachmaninov Biography (Wikipedia)

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff ( rahkh-MAH-nə-nawf, -⁠nof, rahk-; Russian: Серге́й Васи́льевич Рахма́нинов, Sergei Vasilyevich Rakhmaninov,; 1 April [O.S. 20 March] 1873 – 28 March 1943) 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. For the next sixteen years, Rachmaninoff conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, relocated to Dresden, Germany, and toured the United States for the first time. Rachmaninoff often featured the piano in his compositions, and he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument through his own skills as a pianist.

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.

Sergey Rachmaninov Performances & Interviews


Sergey Rachmaninov Tracks

Sergey Rachmaninov
Vocalise, Op.34 no.14
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vocalise, Op.34 no.14

Sort by

Sergey Rachmaninov
To Her (Six Songs, Op. 38)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
To Her (Six Songs, Op. 38)
Sergey Rachmaninov
Moments musicaux in C major, Op.16 no.6
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Moments musicaux in C major, Op.16 no.6
Sergey Rachmaninov
Prelude in D major, Op. 23 no.4
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude in D major, Op. 23 no.4
Sergey Rachmaninov
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Sergey Rachmaninov
Prelude in D major, Op.23 no. 4
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude in D major, Op.23 no. 4
Sergey Rachmaninov
Vespers (All-Night Vigil), Op.37 (Blessed is the Man)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vespers (All-Night Vigil), Op.37 (Blessed is the Man)
Sergey Rachmaninov
Vocalise
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vocalise
Sergey Rachmaninov
Étude-tableau No 2 in A minor, Op 39
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Étude-tableau No 2 in A minor, Op 39
Sergey Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 30
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 30
Sergey Rachmaninov
Rejoice, O Virgin (Vespers Op. 37)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Rejoice, O Virgin (Vespers Op. 37)
Sergey Rachmaninov
Preludes Op.32 No.12 in G Sharp Minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Preludes Op.32 No.12 in G Sharp Minor
Sergey Rachmaninov
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Sergey Rachmaninov
Here it's so fine, Op.21 No.7
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Here it's so fine, Op.21 No.7
Sergey Rachmaninov
Sing not to me, beautiful maiden, Op.4 No.4
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Sing not to me, beautiful maiden, Op.4 No.4
Sergey Rachmaninov
Vocalise, Op 34 No 14
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vocalise, Op 34 No 14

Vocalise, Op 34 No 14

Performer
Music Arranger
Ensemble
Unknown musicians
Last played on
Johann Sebastian Bach
Gavotte (Violin Partita No.3. BWV.1006)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqfb5.jpg
link
Gavotte (Violin Partita No.3. BWV.1006)
Sergey Rachmaninov
Waltz
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Waltz
Sergey Rachmaninov
Romance
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Romance
Sergey Rachmaninov
Vespers, Op. 37: Nunc dimittis
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vespers, Op. 37: Nunc dimittis
Sergey Rachmaninov
Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
Sergey Rachmaninov
Prelude, Op 2 No 1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude, Op 2 No 1
Sergey Rachmaninov
Bogoroditse Devo [Rejoice O Virgin]
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Bogoroditse Devo [Rejoice O Virgin]
Sergey Rachmaninov
Brief Encounter (1945) - Piano Concerto No 2
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Brief Encounter (1945) - Piano Concerto No 2
Sergey Rachmaninov
Vocalise, Op. 34 No.14
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Vocalise, Op. 34 No.14
Sergey Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor
Sergey Rachmaninov
Etude-tableau in C minor, Op 39 No 1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Etude-tableau in C minor, Op 39 No 1
Sergey Rachmaninov
Etudes-tableaux, Op.39 (no.8)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Etudes-tableaux, Op.39 (no.8)
Sergey Rachmaninov
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Sergey Rachmaninov
Prelude in G flat major, Op 23 No 10
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude in G flat major, Op 23 No 10
Sergey Rachmaninov
They answered
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
They answered
Sergey Rachmaninov
The little Island
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
The little Island
Sergey Rachmaninov
SIng not to me
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
SIng not to me
Sergey Rachmaninov
A Dream
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
A Dream
Sergey Rachmaninov
Symphony No 2 in E minor, Op 27 (2nd Mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony No 2 in E minor, Op 27 (2nd Mvt)
Sergey Rachmaninov
Rhapsody of a Theme of Paganini, Op.43
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Rhapsody of a Theme of Paganini, Op.43
Sergey Rachmaninov
The Silver Sleigh Bells, Op.35 no.1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
The Silver Sleigh Bells, Op.35 no.1
Sergey Rachmaninov
Symphony No 3 in A minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony No 3 in A minor
Sergey Rachmaninov
Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op 27
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op 27
Sergey Rachmaninov
Cello Sonata in G minor, Op.19 (3rd mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Cello Sonata in G minor, Op.19 (3rd mvt)
Sergey Rachmaninov
Etude-Tableaux op.39 no.3
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Etude-Tableaux op.39 no.3
Sergey Rachmaninov
Elegy op.3 no.1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Elegy op.3 no.1
Sergey Rachmaninov
Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 3 No. 2
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 3 No. 2
Sergey Rachmaninov
Symphony No 1 in D Minor, Op 13 (2nd mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony No 1 in D Minor, Op 13 (2nd mvt)
Sergey 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
Sergey Rachmaninov
Prelude Op 23 No 4 in D major
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Prelude Op 23 No 4 in D major
Sergey Rachmaninov
The Bells (Kolokola) for soloists, chorus and orchestra (Op.35)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
The Bells (Kolokola) for soloists, chorus and orchestra (Op.35)
Sergey Rachmaninov
Symphony No 2 in E minor Op 27
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqg5b.jpg
link
Symphony No 2 in E minor Op 27
Load more tracks


Past BBC Events

Proms 2018: Prom 59: Relaxed Prom
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/epncd4
Royal Albert Hall
2018-08-27T17:04:19
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 Sergey 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