There is a popular sign saying that it is a good luck if you find a flower with five petals on a lilac branch. Lilac had always been present in Sergey Rakhmaninov’s life. He even wrote his “Lilacs” love song.
Once Rakhmaninov received a lilac bouquet after one of his concerts. There was neither signature nor a card saying who sent the flowers. Since then wherever he performed, no matter what country he visited, someone had always been sending him lilacs. And even when Rakhmaninov was leaving Russia forever, he was surprised to see a branch of lilac in his train compartment.
The mysterious stranger’s name who would give Rakhmaninov lilacs had remained unknown for quite a while. “The White Lilac” turned out to be Fyokla Russo, the modest teacher and fan of the musician.
This is how lilac became Rakhmaninov’s traveling companion following him all his life: since the times of his youth when he smelled its aroma in Ivanovka estate owned by his wife’s relatives and later to himself until his last days.
Every May, thanks to the unbelievable beauty of blooming lilac, Ivanovka that is currently occupied by Rakhmaninov Museum Estate becomes a tourist Mecca. Lilac bushes loved dearly by the great composer are scattered all over the estate park fascinating with its beauty and incredible fragrance. It is not an easy task to count the varieties growing here. Birds chirp everywhere. The ravishing aroma and unbelievable view make your head spinning. The old park alleys get crowded creating an illusion of the former owners’ figures walking in the lilac mist.