1Rachmaninoff’s Beverly Hills “Dacha”
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
In 1942, at the age of 69, Sergei Rachmaninoff resolved to do what he had been threatening for decades: retire from his career as a touring pianist and dedicate himself to composing.
He wrote to his friend, Russian émigré musicologist Sergei Bertensson, asking him to find a “dacha” (a country cottage home) in Southern California, where Rachmaninoff hoped the temperate climate might slow the decline of his health.
Bertensson later wrote: “Together, we found a Beverly Hills estate with a large house, a swimming pool, the all-important garden, and a big music room that could hold two grand pianos.” Rachmaninoff, along with his wife, Natalia, moved into the estate in May 1942.