Sergei Rachmaninoff

Fun Facts

  • Rachmaninoff was a brilliant pianist, conductor and composer.

  • Recognizing her four-year-old son's talent, Rachmaninoff's mother arranged for him to have music lessons.

  • When he was eighteen, Rachmaninoff rose to fame with his first Piano Concerto.

  • Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 is often described as the greatest ever written.

  • Although it wasn't permitted in Russia, Rachmaninoff married his first cousin, Natalya.

  • With perhaps the largest hands in classical music history, Rachmaninoff could span an octave and a half on the piano.

  • Rachmaninoff had a house built in Los Angeles that was an exact replica of his original Moscow home.

  • A tall, sometimes severe-looking man, Rachmaninoff seldom smiled in photographs, and was once dubbed a "six-foot scowl."

  • Rachmaninoff died from lung cancer after a lifetime of heavy smoking.

  • Rachmaninoff loved automobiles, kept a speedboat, and adored New York’s ice cream sodas.

  • Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is deemed one of the most technically challenging concertos in the classical repertoire.

  • Rachmaninoff defined himself as the last Romantic composer.

  • Although known mostly for his piano compositions, Rachmaninoff also wrote some magnificent choral music.

  • After the poor reception of his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff fell into a deep depression which lasted for three years. 

  • Rachmaninoff was sociable, friendly, and had a wide circle of friends.

  • Rachmaninoff wrote a set of preludes in all 24 major and minor keys.

  • The Rachmaninoff family left Russia permanently following the Russian Revolution, eventually settling in the United States.

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Fun Facts

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Works Catalog

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