Luzern, Villa Senar. Foto/Photo: Denkmalpflege Kanton Luzern, Priska Ketterer

Villa Senar of Rachmaninoff

In 1930, Russian composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff bought a plot of land in the municipality of Hertenstein, right on Lake Lucerne in Canton Lucerne. He built the Villa Senar on this site. Senar is an abbreviation of SErgei, his wife Natalie Satina (1877-1951) and Rachmaninoff.

Rachmaninoff commissioned two architects to build the Villa Senar on the estate. The combination of the villa’s architectural value, its exceptional lakeside location and its significance because of its inhabitants make it a monument of extraordinary value.

In late 1917, Rachmaninoff fled Russia. He composed, conducted and played successively in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England, and France and lived in Switzerland from 1930 to 1939. At the end of August 1939, he left Europe for good and settled in the United States, where he died in Beverly Hills on 28 March 1943.

Since April 2022, the estate and villa have belonged to the Canton of Lucerne. Together with the Serge Rachmaninoff Foundation, the canton is developing the resort into a regional and international cultural and educational centre, making the villa and park accessible to the public, musicians students.

While the canton is responsible for the maintenance and management of the buildings and park, the Serge Rachmaninoff Foundation develops, organises and finances the cultural programme of the Villa Senar.

The Villa Senar houses the family’s original interior and furnishings and even the grand piano on which Rachmaninoff practised and composed.

(Source and further information: Villa Senar)