Sergei Rachmaninoff – Life and Work

Sergei Rachmaninoff received his musical training at the conservatoires in St. Petersburg and Moscow. After completing his studies (with teachers including Arensky and Taneyev) he rapidly became well-known through his concerts in Russia. In 1904 and 1905 he worked as a conductor at the Bolshoi Theatre and in 1909 he went on his first tour of the USA. After the outbreak of the Revolution in 1917 Rachmaninoff left his Russian homeland for good. He first lived in Paris and from 1935 onwards resided permanently in the USA. As a composer Rachmaninoff was the last important representative of Russian late Romanticism. At the same time he was also one of the most outstanding piano virtuosos of his day and a gifted conductor. For Rachmaninoff, compositional creativity was closely linked with his own work as a performer. The most important and largest number of his compositions were for piano, and he was their best interpreter.