1873 - 1943
He studied in St. Petersburg and Moscow. With the resounding success of his Piano Concerto No. 2 his fame as a composer was assured. He then produced such masterpieces as the Symphony No. 2, the tone poem Isle of the Dead, and the Piano Concerto No. 3 .
After his first American tour he continued to make his home in Russia but left permanently following the Revolution in 1917; he thereafter lived in Switzerland and the USA.
Rachmaninov was possessed of a keyboard technique marked by precision and clarity and the pianist's hands became the stuff of legend.
His later works included four piano concerti and his most beloved work, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
1840 - 1893
He studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In his first two years there he had already written his first symphony and the opera "Voyevoda". From 1869 to 1875 he wrote three more operas.
After an unhappy love affair he moved to Switzerland to recover and later to Italy. After the production of "The Sleeping Beauty", Tchaikovsky went to Florence to work on his opera "The Queen of Spades" which was produced in St. Petersburg later that year.
Tchaikovsky is best known for his symphonies and ballets. The best known are the ballets 'Swan Lake', 'The Sleeping Beauty' and 'The Nutcracker'; the opera 'Eugene Onegin' and the 'Romeo and Juliet' overture. Tchaikovsky raised the status of ballet music to previously unknown distinction.
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