Rachmaninov - Life & Music 1873-1903

Ref: C3842763

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) is one of the best known of 20th century composers for his music, but this course will examine the origins of that music, his life and career up to 1903 in a philosophy of Nature and Love that were current under the surface of late-Tsarist Russia before the Revolution of 1917.

Course aim

To introduce the music of Sergei Rachmaninov and place his work in the context of Russian Classical Music and political developments in Russia during the late 19th Century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Course is for anyone with a curiosity about Classical Music and its origin and motivations.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Begin to understand the cultural and political background that gave birth to Rachmaninov
  • Begin to understand the link between “artist” and “nature”.
  • Begin to understand the European cultural currents that caused Rachmaninov so much trouble later on in his career.
  • Begin to question what it really is that constitutes “artistic progress”, or if there really is such a thing at all.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Presentation of the music and discussion of the implications of it amongst tutor and class.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • ? Class discussion of topics raised. Questions raised and answered.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • A notebook, pen and open mind.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Any biography of Rachmaninov. Most libraries will have one, or access to one. Also Robert K Massie’s “Nicholas & Alexandra” is a good initial source for historical context.

What can I do next?

  • Further WEA Music Courses

Download full course information sheet

Rachmaninov - Life & Music 1873-1903

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing