The two Sergeis: giant men, giant pianists, and giant composers whose music has not always gotten the respect it deserves. Rachmaninov’s place in the pantheon of romantic composers is sometimes overshadowed by his status as perhaps the greatest pianist of the recorded era. Prokofiev struggled with emerging modernism before settling into a neoromanticism that has sometimes been considered selling out to his Soviet masters.

Our stylistic comparison will cover their solo piano works – the percussive virtuosity of Prokofiev and the romantic exuberance of Rachmaninov – their symphonies and other works; and their monumental piano concertos. Music literacy is not required.