Rachmaninoff’s 150th Birthday

featuring Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Symphony No. 2
Piotr Gajewski, conductor

Friday, February 3, 2023 · 7:30 pm

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Sergei Rachmaninoff deserves to be celebrated every day, but 2023 marks 150 years since his birth on April 1st, 1873. Considered one of the most influential and well-known Romantic composers, Sergei Rachmaninoff said, “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” In celebration of his 150th birthday, NatPhil presents two of his most quintessential works, beginning with the familiar and beloved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, featuring piano virtuoso Claire Huangci. Following the crowd-pleasing Rhapsody is Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, an intense piece from Rachmaninoff’s early career. Known for its memorable emotionally-driven melodies, Symphony No. 2 is the perfect conclusion to a program celebrating a composer that, after a century and half, still remains inspiring to classical fans the world over. 


Why We Love This Concert

  • Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is one of Rachmaninoff's most well-known pieces
  • Rachmaninoff often performed his own piano pieces and was known for having large hands (he could cover the interval of a 12th on the piano), so naturally his compositions are very challenging. Hear up and coming pianist Claire Huangci play the piano with ease.


Sergei Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43


Sergei Rachmaninoff, Symphony No. 2, Op. 27, E Minor  
I. Largo - Allegro moderato
II. Allegro molto
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro vivace

Guest Artists

Claire Huangci


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