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The Saratov Conservatoire was the third musical high school in pre-revolutionary Russia after those in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The city of Saratov is respected as well-equipped and educated among the cities on the Volga River. In 1873 it had already opened so-called musical classes, later re-organized to become a musical institute, the base for the future conservatoire. The Saratovskii listok, the citys newspaper, described the event in the following terms: The first Russian conservatoire was opened in St. Petersburg in 1862. In the provinces, the honour to be the first was granted to Saratov department. September 10th this year (1912) may be regarded as the birthday of our conservatoire. It has 600 students, the pedagogical staff consists of 8 professors and 7 senior lecturers.

Officially the Saratov Conservatoire was opened on October 21st 1912 in a building designed by St. Petersburg architect A. Jagn for the musical institution ten years previously. After reconstruction in 1912 it becomes a distinctive architectural symbol of the city.

Among the first lecturers we could mention are the names of the first director, famous cellist S. Kozolupov; M. Medvedev, the first Lensky in Tchaikovskys Eugen Onegin; and A. Paschalova, the famous operatic singer. Among the first performers who appeared on the stage of the Grand (now Oktiabrskii) Hall are Feodor Chaliapin, Leonid Sobinov, Antonina Nezhdanova, and Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Scriabin et al.