Sergei Rachmaninoff

rachmaninoff1April 1, 1873 – March 28, 1943

The last of the great Romantic Russian composers, Sergei Rachmaninoff was born into a prominent, if broke, old-aristocratic family. He overcame a torrid childhood filled with dying siblings, a deadbeat father and multiple homes. Through it all, his love for the piano endured. Despite being a below-average student, Rachmaninoff went on to study at the Moscow Conservatory where he excelled. A gifted musician and composer who was influenced by predecessors like Tchaikovsky, he wrote the majority of his catalog before the age of 35. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Rachmaninoff emigrated, by way of Scandinavia, to the United States where he took on a lengthy career as a conductor and touring performer. His time in America was lucrative, but lacked the inspiration of his homeland. He spent a significant amount of time in Switzerland and planned to be buried at his home there. But, he died of melanoma in Los Angeles…during World War II, so he somehow ended up in Westchester County, New York. As one does.


Kensico Cemetery – Valhalla, NY

Specific Location

Section 187; At the southeast corner of the circle in Pocantico Ave., directly across from the Actors Fund Plot.



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