Artist bio

Sergie Vasilevich Rachmaninov, born Russia, 1873, died 1943.
A prodigious talent, studied at the conservotoire in St Petersburg along with peers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, once played for the great Tchaikovsky who saw the raw talent young Sergie possesed.

After a brief courtship, he married a cousin, and had a family, there were initial objections to them marrying, but they were overcome, his first major work, Piano Concerto No1 was not well recieved, and Rachmaninov, who was prone to moments of melancholy, went into a depression, and did not compose for quite some time.

He eventually started composing again, and wrote Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor, an amazing piece, especially remembered for variation 18, which was used in the famous railway scene in "Brief Encounter", this piece was the making of him.

Rachmaninov lived in turbulent times, the political situation in Russia was precarious, and when the revolution occured, he moved himself and his family to America to start a new life, but he missed the motherland very badly, because of his move to America, his music was banned in Russia. Read more

More music followed, Piano Concerto's 3+4, along with many other symphonies and choral works, "The Bells" recieving particular acclaim, he toured the world giving concerts for many years and proved to be the last, and greatest of the Russian romantic composers.

Previously, he had built a house on the banks of Lake Lucerne where he died in 1943, Rachmaninov was a big man, and had huge hands, a cast of them can be seen in the Natural History Museum in London.

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