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