1887, to the 25th anniversary of the St. Petersburg Conservatoire
– the first higher music school in Russia – the emperor Alexander
III issued an order to rebuild the building of the Bolshoi Theatre
located on the Theatre place for the Conservatoire. The contest
was arranged for the best project in which Vladimir Nikolya’s project
(1852-1902) was approved. For Vladimir Nikolya this work became
the top of his career as an engineer-architect. The rebuilding of
the theatre lasted up to 1896 and coasted around 2 millions rubles,
a rather big sum for that period.
On the second floor of the Conservatoire V.Nikolya designed a concert hall
for 600 places and named it “The hall of quartets’ meetings”. To
obtain the special acoustic effect the walls dressed in the fir
planks and the brickwork were spaced well apart creating the air
cushion. V.Nikolya has decorated the interior with care. Its decor
combined the early classicism with the elements of rococo, the symmetry
with the freedom of elegant central lines. The harmonious unity
with the decor formed the basis of the ceiling painting and represented
Apollon-Mussaget, his wife Kaliopa and his son Orfey, as well as
muses Poligimniya and Evterpa.
The plafond decorated by the artist Adrey Ryabushkin in 1894, was
restored several times and practically destroyed during the World
War II. In 1970 the group of artists recreated the picturesque hall
plafond. The artist-restorer A. Treskin followed the sketches of
A. Ryabushkin in creating this plafond.
the hall housed the organ of the Dresden “Walker” company which
has been replaced in 1961 by another one from the Czechoslovak “Riger”
The wooden chairs, ordered from Vienna, and the wooden framework
created the remarkable acoustic effect. The cut-glass chandeliers
and girandoles emphasized the festive decoration of the hall.
In 1920 the Malyi Hall was named after the Conservatoire director
A.K. Glazunov (1865-1936) whose life was closely connected with
the Conservatoire during a quarter of the century.
Since the first concert, held in the January 12, 1896, and up to
our days the Glazunov Concert Hall, is a center of the academic
and artistic Conservatoire life. Being the training stage and at
the same time the open concert hall, the Glazunov Hall took care
of the spiritual aura of the Conservatoire, increased its traditions
and accumulated the artistic energy of multiple musician generations
Running the Conservatoire building during 105 years without major
repairs caused a new restoration.
the context of the Project regarding the reconstruction of the Saint
Petersburg center and in accordance with the contest arranged among
culture higher schools, the Culture Fund of the World Bank granted
the Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatoire USD 160
000 for the restoration of Glazunov Concert Hall. The Russian Government
gave extra 5 853 000 rubles (USD 205 000) for repairing rooms adjacent
to the hall.
In the course of the reconstruction the heating system, electrical
equipment and wood floor were replaced; the balcony backup abutment
was reconstructed; the painting, stucco mouldings, windows, doors,
chairs, chandeliers were restored; the front staircase and the vestibule
During the restoration of such an architecture monument, it was
very important to find the special methods for saving and recreating
original historical interior details which could not damage the
real acoustic effect. All these restoration methods were developed
by the “Nika” company specialists together with “Spetsproektrestavratsija”
Research Institute under control of the State Committee of the Monuments
and Culture Protection.
The grand opening ceremony of the Glazunov Hall after its restoration
took place on the 18 May of 2001. This ceremony was dated for the
opening of the First Festival “International Conservatoire Week”.
concert activity renascence of the Glazunov Hall, which is one of
the best chamber halls in Europe owing to its historical and architectural
values and its special acoustics, is a present of the first Russian
Conservatoire for the Saint Petersburg’s 300th Anniversary.
Glazunov Hall is still used as a training stage. Each year more
than 100 of open concerts are held in the Conservatoire, in which
a lot of students, candidates, graduates and professors of the Conservatoire,
as well as invited musicians from all over the world, take part.
Many Saint Petersburg festivals also perform there the chamber and
symphonic concerts. The Conservatoire stage receives any kind of
celebrations, seminars, contests, realizes joint creative projects
with Russian and Foreign partners.
Following the traditions of the musical enlightenment, the Conservatoire
creates season ticket cycles in the Glazunov Hall for the childish
and youthful audience, carries out charitable actions for war and
Every year the Hall becomes the central stage for the “International
Conservatoire Week” festival in order to integrate the Old Russian
musical institute into the international musical procedure and to
assign the status of the Hall as an international stage of the musical
high school community.
He history of the Conservatoire Hall is continued…
The Glazunov Hall
The Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatoire
Teatralnaya square, 3, Saint Petersburg
Tel.\Fax: (812) 571 0506, (812) 571 1074.
Director – Lidia Volchek
Musical editor – Sergei Pogurtsev
Editors, translators – Svetlana Sebestinas, Anastasia Sinaiskaya