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A brilliant pianist, conductor and composer, Rachmaninov wrote a piano concerto that has become the nation's favourite piece of classical music.
The première of Rachmaninov’s first symphony in March 1897 was a total disaster. It took place under the baton of Glazunov, pictured, who was at best incompetent and, according to some, drunk. The critics tore the work apart and it was never again performed during Rachmaninov’s life. He fell into a depression and needed hypnosis to conquer the problem.
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