The Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op.18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901. The second and third movements were first performed with the composer as soloist on 2 December 1900. The complete work was premiered, again with the composer as soloist, on 9 November 1901, with his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting. The piece established Rachmaninoff’s fame as a concerto composer and is one of his most enduringly popular pieces.
Some years ago Paul Noble, the arranger, had the privilege of conducting an orchestral performance of this work. In listening to the recording of that performance, he felt that it would make a magnificent work for a piano soloist with Concert/Wind Band accompaniment. “My thought has been that there must be many college level piano majors who would like to perform one movement of this work, which has seemingly become acceptable, since it is so complete by itself. And now, with a band arrangement, the opportunities should expand for greater accessibility. While I have been immersed in arranging this magnificent music, the television is showing the horrors of the invasion of Ukraine, birthplace of Rachmaninoff, which is heartbreaking in today’s world.”