Composer of the Month: Rachmaninoff

This month we have decided to focus on Rachmaninoff! While his music is more difficult than some of the others we have focused on, we believe that he is an important part of the musical world, especially for pianists.

Here are some interesting facts about Rachmaninoff:

Did you know that Rachmaninoff performed in the Provo Tabernacle?! It was said that when he was performing, a train came through the station and was blowing its horn. Rachmaninoff stopped mid-performance and let the train pass and then continued as if nothing had happened! They said that he didn’t even miss one note!

He is one of the last great Romantic composers. His Piano Concerto No. 2 has been used in many films and other composers often quote parts of it in their own music. That piece is also the No. 1 most played classical piece in the nation.

He was known as having a “six-foot scowl” because of the fact that he hardly smiled in pictures.

His hands were so large that he could span 12 notes on the piano!

Rachmaninoff was once giving a recital in New York with violinist Fritz Kreisler. Kreisler got into a muddle about where they were in the music. Panic stricken, he whispered to Rachmaninoff “Where are we”. The reply came back: “Carnegie Hall.”

He also loved very fast cars and boats.

Hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Rachmaninoff!

Take a listen to the Piano Conservatory’s playlist HERE,