Die Villa Senar (for sergej and N / Awell Rachmaninow) in Hertenstein on Lake Lucerne, built between 1931 and 1933 and the summer residence of the composer’s family until 1939, opens to the public. The building, which together with the associated gardener’s house is one of the few examples of modern Bauhaus architecture in this region, was placed under monument protection together with the surrounding park. It has now been declared a monument of national importance. The Canton of Lucerne bought the two buildings and the property in 2022. The villa has been renovated and got back the original ocher paint.
In the meantime she had been white. New roses were planted in the 20,000 square meter park laid out by Rachmaninoff himself, and the trees were trimmed to restore the original lines of sight, for example from the terrace to the Pilatus massif above Lake Lucerne. Rachmaninoff’s grand piano, a gift from Steinway & Sons for the composer and pianist’s sixtieth birthday in 1933, was also dehumidified and retuned. Rachmaninov composed the Corelli Variations, the Paganini Rhapsody and the Third Symphony on this instrument. The Rachmaninoff family had fled the communists after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and emigrated to the United States via Denmark and Sweden.
The new cultural center, headed by manager and musician Andrea Loetscher, will be organizing concerts, master classes and guided tours in Rachmaninoff’s Swiss retreat. From April 1st, the park around the villa is accessible on weekends and public holidays. Visits to the villa with Rachmaninoff’s original furniture and grand piano are only possible during events and by prior arrangement.