The musical child of Russia’s golden age, Sergei Rachmaninoff, was the last of the great Romantics. Scorned by the musical establishment until very recently, his music received hostile reviews from critics and other composers. Conversely, it never failed to find widespread popular acclaim, and today he is one of the most popular composers of all time.
Biographer Michael Scott investigates Rachmaninoff’s intense and often melodramatic life, following him from imperial Russia to his years of exile as a wandering virtuoso and his death in Beverly Hills during the Second World War, worn out by his punishing schedule.
In this remarkable biography which relates the man to his music, Michael Scott tells the colourful story of a life that spanned two centuries and two continents. His original research from the Russian archives, so long closed to writers from the West, brings us closer to the spirit of a man who genuinely believed that music could be both good and popular, a belief that is now triumphantly vindicated.