The American Classical Music Hall Of Fame offers a complimentary smartphone application for playing inductee music through your phone and also through Washington Park’s PA system.Download Android Player Download Player On iOS No, thank you. Just take me to the website.
Born in 1873
Inducted in 2001
Sergei Rachmaninoff never abandoned his Russian heritage, whether living in Europe or the United States, after his departure from Russia in 1918. Rachmaninoff’s childhood was one of turmoil and hardship, and he failed in his studies at St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1885. His cousin Alexander Ziloti recommended that Rachmaninoff be sent to the Moscow Conservatory, where the program of study was very strict. The young musician would live and study piano technique with Nikolai Zverev. In 1888 Rachmaninoff transferred to the senior department of the conservatory and began to study piano with Ziloti. In 1889 he had a falling out with Zverev, who was interested in Rachmaninoff the pianist, not the composer. When Ziloti resigned from the Conservatory in 1891, Rachmaninoff shortened his stay there and graduated with honors in piano. Completing his composing studies early too, Rachmaninoff composed the one-act opera Aleko, based on a Pushkin poem, for which he was graduated with the Conservatory’s Great Gold Medal. In 1891 Rachmaninoff signed his first contract with a publisher, and in that year composed the Piano Prelude in C# Minor, which would become his best- known composition. In 1909 Rachmaninoff made his first American tour. That same November he made his first appearance with an orchestra in the U.S., performing his Second Piano Concerto in Philadelphia with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Philadelphia was also the location of his conducting debut, with the Philadelphia Orchestra. With the New York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch, he played the world premiere of his Third Piano Concerto. The composer was given a gift of a Steinway piano, and, in 1920, entered a recording contract with the Victor Talking Machine Company. Between 1918 and the outbreak of World War II, Rachmaninoff toured Europe every year. He toured the U.S. regularly until his death in 1943.