Sergei Rachmaninoff Height

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In 1885, Rachmaninoff suffered further loss when his sister Yelena died at age eighteen of pernicious anemia. She was an important musical influence to Rachmaninoff who had introduced him to the works of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. As a respite, his grandmother took him to a farm retreat by the Volkhov River where Rachmaninoff developed a love for rowing. At the Conservatory, however, he had adopted a relaxed attitude and failed his general education classes, and purposely altered his report cards in what composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov called a period of "purely Russian self-delusion and laziness". Rachmaninoff performed at events held at the Moscow Conservatory during this time, including those attended by the Grand Duke Konstantin and other notable figures, but upon his failing his spring exams Ornatskaya notified his mother that his admission to further education might be revoked. His mother then consulted with Alexander Siloti, her nephew and an accomplished pianist and student of Franz Liszt, who recommended he be transferred to the Moscow Conservatory and receive lessons from his former teacher, the more strict Nikolai Zverev, which lasted until 1888.

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