1925. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Read Note.
Rakhmaninov, Sergey Vasilyevich (1873-1943), Russian composer and pianist, born in Nozhni-Novgorod. He studied in St. Petersburg Conservatory and later in Moscow, where he won the gold medal for composition. A brilliant performer he traveled all over Europe on concert tours. In 1918, after Bolshevik’s revolution, he immigrated from Russia and settled in the USA. An accomplished composer, he wrote operas, orchestral works and songs, but is best known for his piano music, which includes four concertos, the first three of which achieved enormous popularity, and the inveterate Prelude in C Sharp Minor, the demand for which at his own concerts nauseated even the composer himself. His style, devoid of national characteristics, epitomizes the lush romanticism of the later 19th century, which is still apparent in his last major composition, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934) for piano and orchestra, which has remained a concert favorite