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Moscow Conservatory

Coordinates: 55°45′23″N 37°36′16″E / 55.75639°N 37.60444°E / 55.75639; 37.60444
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory
The Great Hall, the main performance auditorium
Established1866; 158 years ago (1866)
RectorProf. Alexander Sergeyevich Sokolov
Address13, Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street, Moscow, 125009

The Moscow Conservatory, also officially Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory (Russian: Московская государственная консерватория им. П. И. Чайковского, romanizedMoskovskaya gosudarstvennaya konservatoriya im. P. I. Chaykovskogo) is a musical educational institution located in Moscow, Russia. It grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in musical performance and musical research. The conservatory offers various degrees including Bachelor of Music Performance, Master of Music and PhD in research.





In 1766, the future site of the conservatory was bought by Princess Ekaterina Romanovna Dashkova (1743-1810), later president of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy. The building was completed in the 1790s. Its author was Vasily Bazhenov, the design of the building was corrected by the hostess herself. Toward the end of her life, she spent winters here.

In 1810, the building was inherited by her nephew, Count Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, a future war hero, participant in the Battle of Borodino, then governor of Novorossiya and Bessarabia, governor of the Caucasus. He was renting out the house. The house burned in 1812, rebuilt by 1824.[1]

Establishment of a conservatory


The idea of establishing a conservatory in Moscow was first suggested in 1819 by Friedrich Scholz, Kapellmeister of the Bolshoi Theater, but the idea was not supported. Eleven years later, in 1830, he managed to get permission to open at his home "free teaching of figured bass and composition". In 1860, Nikolai Rubinstein, together with Vasily Kologrivov, organized in Moscow musical classes of the Moscow branch of the Imperial Russian Musical Society. Rubinstein's co-founder was Prince Nikolai Petrovitch Troubetzkoy, chairman of the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society (1863-1876). Initially, the music classes were held in Rubinstein's apartment (who lived on Sadovaya Street, in Volotsky's house). First of all, classes in choral singing (Konstantin Albrecht) and elementary music theory (Eduard Langer, then Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolay Kashkin) were organized. Since the fall of 1863, most of the classes moved to the new address of Rubinstein's residence (Myasnoy alley, house of Burkin). Solo singing (Bertha Walzek and Adolf Osberg) and playing various instruments began to be taught: violin (Karl Klamroth and Vasily Bezekirsky), piano (Nikolai Rubinstein, Eduard Langer and Nikolay Kashkin), cello (Karl Ezef), flute (Ferdinand Büchner), trumpet (Fyodor Richter). In 1864 the number of pupils exceeded two hundred, and the Russian Musical Society rented Voeikova's house on Mokhovaya Street, where Rubinstein's apartment was located. In 1866, teachers Ludwig Minkus (violin), Józef Wieniawski and Anton Door (piano), and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (elementary music theory) joined.[2]

In 1862, a conservatory was established in Saint Petersburg, and there was a need for a higher musical institution in Moscow. The report of the Russian Musical Society for 1863/1864 already mentioned a concert organized "for the benefit of the conservatory to be opened in Moscow"[3]

Conservatory in Moscow was co-founded in 1866 as the Moscow Imperial Conservatory by Nikolai Rubinstein and Prince Nikolai Troubetzkoy. The grand opening was held on September 1.[4] It is the second oldest conservatory in Russia after the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was appointed professor of theory and harmony at its opening. Since 1940, the centenary of his birth, the conservatory has borne his name.



The highest permission for the opening of the Moscow Conservatory, at the request of the August Patroness of the Society, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, followed on December 24, 1865. Pianist N.G. Rubinstein was approved as its director on February 6, 1866. Konstantin Albrecht was appointed inspector of the conservatory. By the day of the opening of the Conservatory a house was rented at the corner of Vozdvizhenka and the Arbatskie Gates passage, in the house of Baroness Cherkasova. The house has not survived; in 1941, during an air raid on Moscow, the building was destroyed by a bomb.[5] In 1871 the Moscow Conservatory rented Dashkova's house, and in 1878 bought it for 185 thousand rubles.

The Conservatory was financed by the income of the Russian Musical Society from concert activities, as well as city and government subsidies, donations from private individuals and tuition fees. The course of study at the conservatory took six years until 1879, then was increased to nine years. It covered both music classes (instrumental, vocal, orchestral, choral, opera, and theory) and general education. Until 1917, tuition was paid.

In the early years of the Conservatory, the level of requirements for admission to the Conservatory was by necessity very low. Only those who had studied earlier in the Music Society classes had some theoretical training. All others were required to begin music theory with an elementary course, in which everyone was enrolled regardless of proficiency in any instrument, mainly piano. In the first school year of 1866/1867, the professorial (senior) classes had 38 pupils on the piano; the junior classes (adjunct classes) had 43. In May, 1867, general examinations were held, on the basis of which the students were assigned to courses.[6]

In the early years of its activity the Conservatory was taught by professors: piano - Nikolai Rubinstein, Józef Wieniawski, C. F. Wilshau (adjunct), Anton Door, C. E. Weber (adjunct), Alexandre Dubuque, A. K. Zander (adjunct), Karl Klindworth (from 1868), Nikolay Kashkin, E. L. Langer (adjunct), L. F. Langer (from 1869), Nikolai Zverev (junior piano classes from 1870); solo singing - A. D. Alexandrova-Kochetova, B. O. Walzek, Vladimir Kashperov, A. R. Osberg, J. Galvani (from 1869); violin - Ferdinand Laub, Ludwig Minkus, Jan Hřímalý (from 1869 - adjunct, from 1874 - professor), G. Shradik (adjunct); cello - B. Kosman, Wilhelm Fitzenhagen (from 1870); double bass - G. F. Spekin; flute - F. F. Büchner; oboe - E. F. Meder; clarinet - W. Guth; French horn - M. Barthold, trumpet - F. B. Richter, bassoon - K. F. Ezer; history and theory of church singing in Russia - D. V. Razumovsky; music-theoretical subjects - Konstantin Albrecht, N. A. Hubert, Nikolay Kashkin, E. L. Langer, Herman Laroche, A. S. Razmadze; elementary music theory and harmony - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (since 1870 - instrumentation and free composition).[3]

In 1899 the Italian singer, composer and teacher U. A. Masetti was invited, who raised solo singing to the highest level, creatively combining the best of the Italian and Russian schools.

The building rented for the conservatory soon became insufficient due to the ever-increasing number of students. In the summer of 1877, Prince M. S. Vorontsov's house on Nikitskaya Street was finally acquired by the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society. This building met the educational needs of the Conservatory for fifteen years, but by the end of this period it had become cramped again, as the number of students had increased considerably (in the 1868-1869 school year there were 184 students, and in 1893-1894 there were already 430). In addition, the need for its own concert hall began to be felt. However, the old building was mortgaged to the Moscow City Credit Society, and a number of proposals were considered for the purchase of various plots of land in Moscow for construction. On November 27, 1893 it was decided to build a conservatory designed by academician of architecture V. P. Zagorsky on the site of Prince Vorontsov's house. In 1894, after the transfer of the Conservatory to temporary hired premises in the house of Prince Golitsyn on Volkhonka, the dismantling of the old building began, and on June 27, 1895 the solemn laying of the new building of the Conservatory took place. In 1898 the Conservatory already began its classes in new classrooms, and on October 25 of the same year the Small Hall was consecrated and opened. Works on the arrangement and decoration of the Great Hall were finished only by 1901, and on April 7, 1901 the grand opening of the hall took place.[7][a]

In 1932-1933, the three-storey building was built on the project of I. Y. Bondarenko. In 1983, the building of the Synodal School of Church Singing (former Kolychevy House, in the style of classicism, built in the late 18th century by an unknown architect of the school M. F. Kazakov; since 1925 it housed the law faculty of Moscow State University) was added to the conservatory, which was granted the status of the third academic building of the conservatory.

During the Soviet period, the Sunday Working Conservatory (1927-1933) and the Music Work Faculty (1929-1935) were organized to prepare the children of workers and peasants for admission to the Moscow Conservatory. For the admission of representatives of the Union republics extra-competitive (target) places were allocated annually. In 1931-1932, solving the «task of proletarianisation», Narkompros decided to rename the Moscow Conservatory into «Feliks Kon Higher Music School». In these years, attempts were made to simplify the curricula, «to bring them into agreement with the Marxist method». In late 1932, the former name and academic profile of the institution were restored.[8]

In 1935, the Military Conductor's Faculty was established on the basis of the Military Kapellmeister's Department of the Conservatory.[9][10] As of June 22, 1941, there were 30 students in the military faculty. In the 2000s, this faculty was transferred from the subordination of the Moscow Conservatory to the subordination of the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, and then to the Military University of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

On May 7, 1940, by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Moscow Conservatory was named after P. I. Tchaikovsky and scholarships named after P. I. Tchaikovsky were established for especially gifted students of the Faculty of Composition.

In 1954 a monument to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was unveiled in front of the Great Hall of the Conservatory.

On March 18, 1958, the First International Tchaikovsky Competition was opened at the Conservatory. Until 2019, in the years of this competition, the Conservatory's curricula were cut by one month for the comfortable preparation of participants and jury members: usually the main wave of the summer session took place from May 20 to the end of June, but in the years of the competition - from the end of April to June 5.

Choral faculty


Prior to the October Revolution, the choral faculty of the conservatory was second to the Moscow Synodal School and Moscow Synodal Choir, but in 1919, both were closed and merged into the choral faculty. Some of the students now listed as being of the conservatory were in fact students of the Synodal School.


  • Great Hall (a renovation of the hall was completed in 2011)
  • Small Hall
  • Rachmaninov Hall (built in 1890)
  • Conference Hall
  • N.Y. Myaskovsky Concert Hall
  • The Oval and Exhibition Halls at the Rubinstein Museum

Some notable graduates


Notable current professors

The Moscow Conservatory in 1940

Conservatory directors and rectors

No. Years Rector
1 1866—1881 Nikolai Grigoryevich Rubinstein
2 1881—1883 Nikolai Albertovich Hubert
3 1883—1885 Konstantin Karlovich Albrecht
4 1885—1889 Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev
5 1889—1906 Vasily Ilyich Safonov
6 1906—1922 Mikhail Mikhailovich Ippolitov-Ivanov
7 1922—1924 Alexander Borisovich Goldenweiser
8 1924—1929 Konstantin Nikolayevich Igumnov
9 1929—1932 Boleslaw Stanislavovich Przybyszewski
10 1932—1934 Stanislav Teofilovich Shatsky
11 1935—1937 Heinrich Gustav Neuhaus
12 1937—1939 Valentina Nikolayevna Shatskaya
13 1939—1942 Alexander Borisovich Goldenweiser
14 1942—1948 Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebalin
15 1948—1974 Alexander Vasilyevich Sveshnikov
16 1974—1990 Boris Ivanovich Kulikov
17 1991—2000 Mikhail Alekseevich Ovchinnikov
18 2001—2004 Aleksandr Sergeyevich Sokolov
19 2004—2005 Vladimir Vladimirovich Sukhanov
20 2005―2009 Tigran Abramovich Alikhanov
21 since 2009 Aleksandr Sergeyevich Sokolov

Conservatory structure


At present, the Conservatory has the following faculties:[12]

  • vocal
  • conducting (Choral and Opera and Symphony Conducting Departments)
  • compositional
  • orchestral
  • piano
  • historical and contemporary performing arts
  • a number of interfaculty departments

The conservatory consists of:

  • S. I. Taneyev Scientific and Musical Library (one of the largest music libraries in the Russian Federation)
  • Sound recording laboratory ("phonotheque", since 1947)
  • Scientific and Publishing Center "Moscow Conservatory"
  • N.G. Rubinstein Museum
  • opera studio
  • postgraduate studies, assistantships and doctoral studies
  • Training and methodological center of practices with evening music school
  • Information and Computing Center

Scientific subdivisions (institutes) of the Conservatory:

The Conservatory's staff consists of about 500 faculty members, 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students, and 500 technical and administrative staff.


  1. ^ Nicholas II allocated 100 thousand rubles for the completion of the Great Hall of the Conservatory at the request of his uncle, Konstantin Konstantinovich, who wrote to him: "...it would be a great happiness for the Russian Musical Society if, in memory of the days you spent in the ancient capital, a generous favor were granted to the Moscow Conservatory; the fact is that the construction of her new building on B. Nikitskaya is nearing completion and another 120,000 rubles are needed for the decoration of a large concert hall. This amount is so large that I hesitate to ask for its allocation from the State Treasury..."


  1. ^ "Moscow Conservatory". Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Первое двадцатипятилетие Московской консерватории - Создание Московской консерватории". www.mosconsv.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  3. ^ a b Moiseyev, Grigory; Gurevich, Eugenia; Pavlinova, Varvara (2012). Nikolaj Rubinštejn i ego vremja: k 150-letiju Moskovskoj Konservatorii; [alʹbom] (in Russian). Moskva: Naučno-Izdat. Centr Moskovskaja Konservatorija. p. 120. ISBN 978-5-89598-279-2. Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  4. ^ "Московская государственная консерватория им. П.И. Чайковского". Культура.РФ (in Russian). Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  5. ^ Васькин, Александр (2009). От снесенного Военторга до сгоревшего Манежа. Спутник+. p. 167. Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  6. ^ "Первое двадцатипятилетие Московской консерватории - 1866-1868 гг". www.mosconsv.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  7. ^ "Отчёт по постройке и торжественному открытию здания консерватории - Очерк постройки нового здания Московской консерватории". www.mosconsv.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  8. ^ Власова, Екатерина. "Российский музыкант » Конская школа". Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  9. ^ Пахомова, Мария. "Российский музыкант » "Основная миссия военных дирижеров – просветительство"". Российский музыкант. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  10. ^ "Военно-дирижёрский факультет при Московской консерватории". Gufo. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  11. ^ Levin, Neil M. Biography: Jacob Weinberg 1879–1956. Milken Archive. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Faculties". 15 September 2008. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2024.

55°45′23″N 37°36′16″E / 55.75639°N 37.60444°E / 55.75639; 37.60444