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140th Anniversary Of Composer Sergei Rachmaninoff

April 1, 2013, marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of Russian composer Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff. Widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day, Rachmaninoff was also one of the last great Romantic composers in Russian classical music. In spite of his accomplishments, Rachmaninoff was a target of harsh criticism from his musical peers and would eventually be labeled a "violent enemy of Soviet Russia." (13 PHOTOS)

An autographed portrait of Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff in 1936
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An autographed portrait of Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff in 1936

Rachmaninoff at age 10
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Rachmaninoff at age 10

Rachmaninoff (second from left) with teacher Nikolai Zverev and two classmates at the Moscow Conservatory, August 1, 1886
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Rachmaninoff (second from left) with teacher Nikolai Zverev and two classmates at the Moscow Conservatory, August 1, 1886

Rachmnaninoff in 1901. The premiere of his first symphony in 1897 was poorly received, causing the young composer to sink into depression for several years.
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Rachmnaninoff in 1901. The premiere of his first symphony in 1897 was poorly received, causing the young composer to sink into depression for several years.

Rachmaninoff (seated, second from left) with the great Russian singer Fyodor Chaliapin (standing, far left) and a group of actors in 1904
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Rachmaninoff (seated, second from left) with the great Russian singer Fyodor Chaliapin (standing, far left) and a group of actors in 1904

Rachmaninoff composing his third piano concerto in August 1910. His style was heavily influenced by the Russian Romanticism of his teachers, and particularly Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who had encouraged him early in his career.
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Rachmaninoff composing his third piano concerto in August 1910. His style was heavily influenced by the Russian Romanticism of his teachers, and particularly Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who had encouraged him early in his career.

Rachmaninoff with relatives in August 1912. He had made his first tour of the United States as a pianist in 1909.
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Rachmaninoff with relatives in August 1912. He had made his first tour of the United States as a pianist in 1909.

The composer's summer residence near Tambov, Russia
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The composer's summer residence near Tambov, Russia

Rachmaninoff with his wife, Natalia, in 1917
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Rachmaninoff with his wife, Natalia, in 1917

The composer with his daughters Tatiana (left) and Irina in Semeiz, Crimea, in 1917. Shortly after the Russian Revolution, the family would emigrate to New York, although Rachmaninoff also spent long periods in Paris, Dresden, and Switzerland.
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The composer with his daughters Tatiana (left) and Irina in Semeiz, Crimea, in 1917. Shortly after the Russian Revolution, the family would emigrate to New York, although Rachmaninoff also spent long periods in Paris, Dresden, and Switzerland.

An undated portrait. After his emigration, Soviet officials labeled Rachmaninoff a "reactionary" and "an enemy of the Soviet government." His work as a composer dropped off sharply after leaving Russia, although he toured widely as a pianist.
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An undated portrait. After his emigration, Soviet officials labeled Rachmaninoff a "reactionary" and "an enemy of the Soviet government." His work as a composer dropped off sharply after leaving Russia, although he toured widely as a pianist.

Soloists of the Bolshoi Theater perform to Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" on May 4, 1960.
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Soloists of the Bolshoi Theater perform to Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" on May 4, 1960.

An exhibit devoted to Rachmaninoff at the museum of the Novgorod music school. The composer died of cancer on March 28, 1943, four days before his 70th birthday.
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An exhibit devoted to Rachmaninoff at the museum of the Novgorod music school. The composer died of cancer on March 28, 1943, four days before his 70th birthday.

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