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International Piano Archives at Maryland

Hours:

By appointment,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Contact:

Donald Manildi
IPAM Curator

Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library
University of Maryland
2511 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park, MD 20742-1630
(301) 405-9224
E-mail: godowsky@umd.edu


Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff was born in Oneg, Novogrod, Russia on April 1, 1873 to a musical family. Rachmaninoff attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory at the age of 10 and began to hone his piano skills there. At the advice of Siloti, he transferred to the Moscow Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Zverev. Rachmaninoff became familiar with the music of Tchaikovsky there, as well as the music of the Russian Orthodox Church. Both of these proved to be important influences on his future work. He toured throughout Russia and made his way to London in 1899. In 1909, he visited the United States for the first time. In 1917, Rachmaninoff left Russia, never to return. At this point, Rachmaninoff was as well known a conductor as he was a composer. But once he left Russia, Rachmaninoff focused mainly on a career as a pianist, preparing new recital programs every season for his concerts in the U.S. and Europe. As a result, his compositional activity was sharply reduced. Rachmaninoff appeared regularly with the major orchestras, especially the Philadelphia Orchestra, with which he recorded his four concertos and Paganini Rhapsody. In 1935, Rachmaninoff settled in the U.S., first living in New York City, then Los Angeles. He died there on March 28, 1943. Shortly before his death, Rachmaninoff became an American citizen.

 

Listen: Rachmaninoff: Lilacs, Op. 21, No. 5