St Petersburg Music

St-Petersburg Conservatory

The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov St-Petersburg State Conservatory (Russian: Санкт-Петербургская государственная консерватория имени Н. А. Римского-Корсакова) is a renowned music school in St-Petersburg. In 2004, the conservatory had around 275 faculty members and 1,400 music students.

The conservatory was founded in 1862 by the Russian pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein. On his resignation in 1867, he was succeeded by Nikolai Zaremba. Rimsky-Korsakov joined the faculty in 1871 and the conservatory has borne his name since 1944. In 1887, Rubinstein returned to the Conservatory with the goal of improving overall standards. He removed inferior students, fired and demoted many professors, made entrance and examination requirements more stringent, and revised the curriculum. In 1891, he resigned again over the Imperial demand of racial quotas.

The current building was erected in the 1890s on the site of the old Bolshoi Theatre of St-Petersburg and still preserves the grand staircase and landing from that historic theatre. As the city changed its name in the 20th century, the conservatory was duly renamed Petrograd Conservatory (Петроградская консерватория) and Leningrad Conservatory (Ленинградская консерватория).

Today, it is a renowned Russian composition school whose graduates have included such notable composers as Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Artur Kapp, and Rudolf Tobias. The youngest musician ever admitted to the Conservatory was five-year old violinist Clara Rockmore, who later became one of the world's foremost theremin players. During the 1960s, Shostakovich taught at the conservatory, which brought it additional fame. Amongst his pupils were German Okunev and Boris Tishchenko.

Federal State Budget Cultural Establishment Music House

The St-Petersburg Music House was founded in February 2006 under the initiative of the Russian Ministry of Culture. The main task of this organization is to promote classical music, to revive performance traditions and to prepare young Russian musicians for international competitions and festivals. The main attention is paid to 16-30 year-old soloists of orchestral specialties, students and graduates of the conservatories.

Professor Sergey Roldugin, cellist and conductor, People’s Artist of Russia, who headed earlier the St-Petersburg State Music Conservatory in the name of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov ( in 2003-2004) has become a founder and the art director of this new establishment. According to Sergey Roldugin, a young performing musician should have a serious concert responsibility for his successful creative work, therefore meeting with public, the best teacher, represents a fundamental difference between the academic concert and a public one. During such performances a young soloist will perform not like a student testing his skills, but as a professional who is expected to give a remarkable performance to his audience.


The St-Petersburg Music House offers performances on the best concert venues, master-classes given by outstanding masters, an experience of play with a symphony orchestra to participants of its programs combined under a common name of the Higher Performance Courses. All these opportunities are absolutely free of charge for young musicians. A considerable part of expenses associated with realization of the projects for young people initialized by the St-Petersburg Music House is contributed by charity members.

Russian public knows very well the name of the St-Petersburg Music House thanks to its concerts conducted in St-Petersburg, Moscow, and cities Volga region. In 2006-2011 over 260 concerts with more than 420 soloist performances were held. ”Young Interpreters of Russia”, “Music Team of Russia” ( Tambov, Petrozavodsk, Togliatti, Omsk), “Music of Stars” with participation of symphony orchestra of the St-Petersburg Capella and philharmonic orchestra in Caucasian Mineralnye Vody, “River of Talents” on the Volga river – all these concert programs over five seasons were attended by more than 100 thousand listeners. Over 60 contestants of programs realized by the St-Petersburg Music House have become recently award winners in the international competitions.

In October 2005 the Russian Government granted a unique architectural landmark – the Palace of Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich, brother of the emperor Alexander III ( 122 A Moyka embankment, St-Petersburg) to the St-Petersburg Music House. In September 2009 the first guests, contestants of the River of Talents-2009 project, were welcomed in its halls.

The pearl of the Palace of Duke Alexey Alexandrovich, the English Hall in the Renaissance style, is the largest room in the palace. The most important element of the architectural interior design is a ceiling stucco which decorative elements come back to the English stucco plafonds of the 16th-17th centuries. Also an important part in the hall architecture and design belongs to doors richly embellished with numerous opulent carved and fretted elements. Lion masks on the ceiling, oak trim, and a female figure resembling those gracing ship bows decorate this grand passage leading to the Chinese Reception Room. Since 2010 the English Hall has become a concert hall of the St-Petersburg Music House. Opening of a new concert venue took place on the 24th of April.

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