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© Bernd Redemann
 Version 0.5
 2003 - 2022

            Short biography     www.rachmaninoff.de

Short biography
(updated: 30.12.22)

1873 - 1897 Home and origin 1873 - 1897
1898 - 1907 Musical development, marriage
1908 - 1916 Highlights of his creative work
1917 - 1943 America

Short biography / timetable

Home and origin 1873 - 1897  To top

1873 Sergei Rachmaninoff is born as the fourth of six children on the Semyonovo estate on March 20 (April 1, new calendar). Moves to the Oneg estate.

1877 First piano lessons with his mother, then with Anna Ornatskaya.

1882 The Rachmaninoffs move to St. Petersburg, Rachmaninoff studies at the conservatory

1885 /1886 Piano lessons with Niklaj Swerew in Moscow. He also takes over Rachmaninoff's education

1886 Attends Anton Rubinstein's historical concerts

1887 First compositions

1888 Pianistic training with Alexander Siloti

1890 Rachmaninoff begins to compose the first piano concerto

1891/1892 Rachmainoff receives diplomas in piano and composition

1893 Premiere of the opera Aleko

1897 Failure of the first symphony. Beginning of a depressive phase. From autumn employment as conductor at the Mamontov Opera. Acquaintance with Shalyapin

Musical development, marriage 1898 - 1907  To top

1898 Meeting with Antonov Chekhov

1899 Concert abroad in London

1900 Treatment by Dr. Nikolay Dahl. He succeeds in restoring Rachmaininoff's self-confidence. Begins work on the 2nd Piano Concerto

1901 First performance of the 2nd Piano Concerto under Siloti

1902 Marriage to his cousin Natalya. Performance of the 2nd Piano Concerto in Vienna and Prague

1903 Birth of daughter Irina

1904 Employment as conductor at the Bolshoi Theater

1905 Signs a resolution for basic civil rights in Russia (together with other musicians)

1906 Premiere of two new operas "The Miserly Knight" and "Francesca of Rimini". Stay or move to Dresden. Begins work on the second symphony and the first piano sonata.

1907 Birth of daughter Tatjana, finishes the second symphony and the first piano sonata.

Highlights of his work 1908 - 1916  To top

1908 World premiere of the second symphony in St.Petersburg. Concert in London, first performance of the first piano sonata.

1909 Completes the symphonic poem "the Isle of the Dead" in Dresden. Appointed vice president of the Russian Music Society (RMO). Returns to Russia, composes the third piano concerto (Ivanovka)

1909/1910 Tours America, premieres the 3rd Piano Concerto under Damrosch in New York.

1911 Etudes Tableux Op. 33. concerto with Scriabin

1912 14 Songs Op. 39 Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic Society. Stay in Italy with family

1913 Composed "the bells" choral symphony in Rome. 2.piano sonata composed, premiere "bells " in St.Petersburg

1914 Premiere bells in Moscow

1915 Vespers Op.37 composed. First performance in Moscow

1916 66 Songs Op 38, Etudes Tablueax Op39. Death of the father.

America 1917 - 1943  To top

1917 Completion of Etudes Tableaux, sketches of the 4th Piano Concerto, last concert in Russia. Flees to Sweden with his family - Rachmaninoff will not return to Russia.

1918 Concerts in Scandinavia (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Malmö) decision for pianist career. Crossing to America. Contract with Edison Company for concert activities

1919 First recordings and reel-to-reel recordings

1920 Contract with Victor Talking Machine Company

1921 Acquisition of a house in New York. Contacts with relatives in Russia. First letter contacts with Medtner, who leaves Russia via Germany

1922 First post-war concerts in London. Honorary doctorate from the University of Nebraska

1923 Various concerts in the USA and Canada. Meets with members of the Moscow Artists Theater

1924 Concert at the White House before the President. Sponsorship of "Rapsodie in Blue" by Gershwin.

1926 Completion of the 4th piano concerto

1927 First performance of the 4th piano concerto Recordings with Fritz Kreisler. Stay in Dresden and in Switzerland

1928 Horowitz plays Rachmaninoff's. 3rd piano concerto in New York. Meeting of the two for the first time.

1929 Death of mother in Russia

1930 Acquisition of land at Lake Vierwaldstetten (Switzerland), construction of Villa Senar.

1931 Signs letters of protest against the cultural policy of the USSR

1934 Rapsody on a theme by Paganini is written, performed in Baltimore under Leopold Stokowski. Moves into the Villa Senar.

1936 Third Symphony is completed, first performance in Philadelphia under Stokowski.

1938 Revision of the 3rd Symphony

1939 Last concert in Europe (Lucerne, Switzerland), departure from Europe./P>

1940 Symphonic Dances are composed

1941 First performance of Symphonic Dances in Philadelphia under Ormandy, revision of 4th Piano Concerto. Charity concerts for Soviet war victims.

1942 Summers in California, purchases house in Beverly Hills.

1943 Acquires American citizenship, last concert, Rachmaninoff dies in Beverly Hills on March 28. (age 70)

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Sources: Sergej Rachmaninow - Andreas Wehmeyer, rororo
Sergej Rachmaninow - Leben und Werk - Ewald Reder, TRIGA