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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 1917 Russian Revolution meant the end of Russia as the composer had known it. In December 1917, he left Petrograd for Helsinki on an open sled with his wife and daughters. Now in his 40s, Rachmaninov launched a third more lucrative strand of his career – as a concert pianist.
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