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Biography
(1873-1943).  Rachmaninov came from a musical family and studied at the Moscow Conservatory.  Several early works were premiered with success, but the debut of his First Symphony was such a traumatic failure that he completely avoided composition for a time.  After a period of increased activity as a conductor and pianist, he composed his Piano Concerto no 2, which was an immediate success and quickly became established in the repertoire.  A few years later, he completed his celebrated Piano Concert no 3.

He left Russia at the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.  While the majority of his most famous works were already written, he continued to compose.  His Symphony no 2, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, the Symphony no 3, and the Symphonic Dances all come from his years abroad.  During this period, he was extremely active as a piano recitalist and soloist, especially in the United States.

His many art songs are a window into the Russian spirit of an age now lost.  "Vespers" is his choral masterpiece of Orthodox liturgical inspiration.  Among his many solo piano works, including three sets of Preludes, is the Prelude in C sharp minor, which became the most widely heard piano composition in history.
This biography was most recently edited by...
steven - 8 Feb 2010
steven - 24 Sep 2009
anamnezina - 18 Jun 2009
anamnezina - 18 Jun 2009
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