Rachmaninoff Festival

April 24, 2017

Close Collaborators: Sergei Rachmaninoff and The Philadelphia Orchestra

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s exceptionally close, collaborative relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra began in earnest with his second appearance with the ensemble in March 1919. His first appearance had been in November 1909, during his initial three-month tour of America. Following this tour, Rachmaninoff went home to Russia and did not return to the United States for almost 10 years. When he did, it was as an immigrant exile; he and his family had fled the Russian Revolution in 1917 and had come to America to live a year later.

April 17, 2017

Rachmaninoff’s First Performances in Philadelphia

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra occurred in November 1909, during his first American tour. When he set sail for the United States for this tour in the fall of that year, he was 36 years old and already a major star in his native Russia and in many parts of Europe, highly regarded as a pianist, composer, and conductor. Promoters had been trying to lure him to America for several years, but he was reluctant to make the trip and kept putting it off.

April 04, 2017

Rachmaninoff’s Philadelphia

“Philadelphia has the finest orchestra I have ever heard at any time or any place in my whole life. I don’t know that I would be exaggerating if I said that it is the finest orchestra the world has ever heard.”—Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff and Eugene Ormandy looking over a score at the Academy of Music. Photo: Philadelphia Orchestra Archives/Adrian Siegel Collection

January 31, 2017

Celebrating Rachmaninoff: The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents a Rachmaninoff Festival this April

Long before Stéphane Denève began nurturing dreams of a career on the podium, let alone becoming The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor, he was an aspiring pianist, living in northern France and tuning in to Belgian television to watch the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition.