Wednesday, December 11, 2013
In an effort to reclaim and repatriate Russia’s cultural legacy, President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to consider buying the archive and Swiss estate of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff at a price of about $20 million.
After fleeing Russia amidst the Bolshevik Revolution, Rachmaninoff summered at his Swiss estate Villa Senar. Grandson Alexandre, who died last year, offered little access to the villa and its “unique manuscripts and unique musical scores, unique letters and grand piano.”
If Russia were to acquire the estate, it could serve to promote Rachmaninoff as a Russian classic, rather than an international superstar virtuoso. But it should also free up his materials to researchers.
See Sophia Kishkovsky, Russia May Seek to Reclaim Rachmaninoff Estate, The New York Times, Nov. 25, 2013.