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Rachmaninoff, Sergei

Sergei Rachmaninoff attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory beginning in 1882. Three years later he came to Moscow, where he received instruction from Nikolai Sverev until 1888.

He continued studies with Anton Siloti (piano) as well as Alexander Arensky and Sergei Taneyev (composition), completing these in 1892. Between 1904 and 1906 Rachmaninoff was active as conductor at the Bolshoi Theater. In 1917 he left his homeland permanently and finally settled in the USA. As a highly successful piano virtuoso, Rachmaninoff, who appeared as pianist in public just a few weeks prior to his death, was always able to fascinate an international public anew.

The development of his compositional style, stemming from Chopin, Liszt and Tchaikovsky, was for the most part complete by 1910. Rakhmaninov mastered a late-romantic-pathetic musical language in sovereign manner; despite all chromatic elements, it is a thoroughly traditional and accessible language with which melancholic-elegiac sentiments are frequently associated.

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Rachmaninoff biography