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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.
By the time of his final tour in 1943 Rachmaninov was already seriously ill with lung cancer brought on by a lifetime of heavy smoking. It seems almost prophetic that his final recital on 17 February 1943 included Chopin’s famous funeral march. He died a month later in Beverly Hills, four days before his 70th birthday.
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