The Great Hall of the Moscow ConservatoryRussian: Bolshoy zal Moskovskoy Konservatorii or Большой зал Московской Консерватории is one of Moscow’s best concert venues, boasting internationally recognised acoustics; the sound quality here is comparable with the world’s leading Moscow opera theatres. Despite some considerable differences in layout between opera and concert halls, the architect managed to find the right radius of curvature and slope angle for the amphitheater, thereby increasing the quality of the acoustics.
Exclusive performances of classical music
With its outstanding acoustics, magnificent stage sets and convenient location, the Great Hall of the Conservatory is a place where people come to listen to distinguished musicians perform classical music. You can enjoy organ music here, too; the Great Hall has one of the biggest organs in Russia, presented to the conservatory by the renowned patron of arts Baron von Derviz. It was made by the French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and exhibited in Paris at the Exposition Universelle of 1900, where it was recognised to be one of the best organs in the world. The Moscow Conservatory is also one of Russia’s main music competition venues, hosting the International Tchaikovsky CompetitionRussian: mezhdunarodnyi konkurs imeni P. I. Chaykovskogo or международный конкурс имени П. И. Чайковского.
Another attractive feature of the Great Hall is its pricing policy. Free entrance is available to some concerts, while others charge a modest fee. Regular concertgoers can also purchase an inexpensive season ticket. Its affordable prices make the Conservatory more than just an educational institution – it is involved in awareness-raising activities, allowing everyone regardless of means to experience music at its best.
Building of the conservatory
The Great Hall was constructed between 1895 and 1901 by V. Zagorsky, who was tasked with remodeling Princess E. Dashkovathe closest female friend of Empress Catherine the Great and a major figure of the Russian Enlightenment’s old mansion which had been there since the late 18th century. While retaining the front façade with its characteristic semi-rotunda, Zagorsky completely redesigned the interior in the neo-classical style. With its fine shapes and light colours, the building combines a highly functional layout with beautiful interior design. Its spacious and solemn halls, foyer and staircases are very festive but at the same time strict and reserved, as if to echo the music performed within these walls. In the centre of the arched ceiling are haut-reliefs depicting the patroness of arts, Saint Cecilia.
On both sides, the concert hall is adorned with fourteen portraits of famous composers painted by N. Bodarevsky. Originally, only four of them portrayed Russian composers (Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Borodin and Anton Rubinstein). Another three (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Dargomyzhsky and Modest Mussorgsky) were added during the Soviet era, replacing those of Joseph Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn and Christoph Gluck. In front of the entrance to the conservatory stands a monument to Pyotr Tchaikovsky by sculptor V. Mukhinaa prominent Soviet sculptor. The building underwent renovation at the beginning of the 21st century. In the foyer, the Saint CeciliaRussian: Svyataya Tsetsiliya or Святая Цецилия stained-glass panel, created in 1901 and almost totally destroyed during WWII, has been recently restored. In this way, the original appearance of the building’s exterior has been restored as much as possible.
The Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory stuns visitors with both its artistic design and its acoustic properties, which is why it has remained one of Moscow’s most popular concert halls. It is located in one of the most delightful neighbourhoods in the city centre, so a visit to this concert hall can easily be combined with a leisurely stroll along the lanes and boulevards of Russia’s capital.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com