Rachmaninoff and Busoni

Classical Music Composer Datebook:  April 1

Same-birthday Composers: Sergey Rachmaninoff and Ferruccio Busoni

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
Russian composer and piano virtuoso Sergei (Sergey) Rachmaninoff (Rachmaninov) was born on April 1, 1873 (Old Style: March 20, 1873). He was a conductor of the late Romantic period and whose works are among the most popular in the Romantic repertoire.  Born into a musical family, Rachmaninoff took up the piano at age four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 although he already composed several piano and orchestral pieces. He entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his famous Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. For the next sixteen years, Rachmaninoff conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, relocated to Dresden, Germany, and toured the United States for the first time. Here's a link to the profoundly heartwarming Piano Concerto No. 3 interpreted by Martha Argerich from an earlier post. 

Composer Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924)
Italian composer and also a piano virtuoso in his time, Ferrucio Busoni was born on April 1, 1866. Busoni's Operas include:  Arlecchino (Harlequin or The windows), 1914-1916, Doktor Faust, 1916-1924 (Completed by Jarnach after Busoni's death) and Turandot, 1917.  Below is a performance of  Busoni's Doktor Faust, with Philippe Jordan, conducting the Chorus and Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House. Doktor Faust – Thomas Hampson. Mephistopheles – Gregory Kunde.


Sadie, Stanley, Ed.  The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music, New Updated Edition.  London: Macmillan, 1994. 

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