||Sergei Rachmaninoff is buried in Kensico Cemetery which has been surveyed by the New York Cemeteries sub-project.|
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Russian pianist, composer, and conductor of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the classical repertoire.
Rachmaninoff was born at a family estate in the Novgorod province in north-western Russia. It is unclear if he was born in the estate of Oneg, near Veliky Novgorod, or Semyonovo, near Staraya Russa, but the composer would cite Oneg as his birth place in his adult life. The Rachmaninoff family was an old Russian aristocratic family, which according to the 17th-century Velvet Book, a register of Russia's most illustrious families, was of Romanian Tatar origin, descending from Vasile, nicknamed Rachmaninov, a son of Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great. The Rachmaninoffs had strong musical and military leanings. His father, Vasily Arkadyevich Rachmaninoff (1841–1916), was an amateur pianist and army officer, who had taken lessons from John Field. He married Lyubov Petrovna Butakova (1853–1929), the daughter of a wealthy army general who gave her five estates as part of her dowry. The couple had three sons and three daughters, Rachmaninoff being their fourth child.
He married his first cousin Natalia Satina on 29 April 1902 at a ceremony held in an army chapel in a Moscow suburb. They settled in Moscow where they had two daughters, Irina Sergeievna Rachmaninova (1903–1969) and Tatiana Sergeievna Rachmaninova (1907–1961).
As a member of the Russian bourgeoisie, he did not support Bolshevism, neither did his father manage to keep up with the aristocratic circles he had been born into, so that in due course came the humiliation of selling the family estate; then Rachmaninoff’s own estate, Ivanovka, was seized by the Leninist regime in 1917. At the height of such turmoil, Rachmaninoff received an offer to perform ten piano recitals across the peaceful Scandinavia. On 22 December 1917, they left Russia on an open sled, traveling north through Finland and on to Helsinki. On 1 November 1918, the family boarded a boat in Oslo, Norway bound for New York City, arriving eleven days later.
In 1942, Rachmaninoff's doctor advised him to move to a warmer climate; his family settled in Beverly Hills, California. Rachmaninoff died on 28 March 1943, four days before his 70th birthday. He was interred on 1 June in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.
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