The Tchaikovsky and Moscow MuseumRussian: Muzey «P. I. Chaykovskiy i Moskva» or Музей «П. И. Чайковский и Москва» is located in the Cultural CentreRussian: Kulturnyi tsentr or Культурный центр, and is devoted to this outstanding Russian composer. Although 32-year-old Pyotr Ilyich rented an apartment here for approximately a year, this museum is dedicated to the creative work and musical contributions which span his entire lifetime. This building in the historic centre of Moscow is the perfect spot for a museum of this kind. The rooms and interiors accurately convey the lifestyle of 19th-century Moscow, and Tchaikovsky’s personal effects recreate the atmosphere of his inspired artistry.
A memorial plaque devoted to Pyotr Tchaikovsky has been on this building for many decades. Today, the Tchaikovsky Cultural Centre and, the museum which opened in May of 2007 organizes excursions, themes-based events and concerts.
History of the museum
This is Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s only surviving address in Moscow. While residing in Moscow, he did not have his own place and had to live in rented accommodation. Once, this place was the village of KudrinoRussian: selo Kudrino or село Кудрино, which eventually became assimilated into Moscow as the city grew. The outbuilding where Tchaikovsky lived was located on the premises of a country estate which had almost completely burned down during the French invasion of Russia in 1812. Tchaikovsky lived on the second floor of the house, which was then owned by Major General and Senator A. Kazakov.
A petroleum products shop was located in the building of the Cultural Centre from the 1920s to the 1960s. At the end of the 20th century, two outbuildings were joined after this reconstruction and became the Tchaikovsky Cultural CentreRussian: Kulturnyi tsentr P. I. Chaykovskogo or Культурный центр П. И. Чайковского. There is currently an ongoing project which aims to recreate the old country estate in the immediate vicinity of the original location in order to make it look as close as possible to what it would have looked like during the height of Tchaikovsky’s career.
Having moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow to work as a professor at the conservatory, Tchaikovsky was going through a period of serious financial and moral hardship. Moscow’s ambiance, new friends and new experiences did him a lot of good. “If Life had not brought me to Moscow where I spent over 12 years,” Tchaikovsky remembered years later, “I would never have done what I did”. It is in his apartment on Kudrinskaya SquareRussian: Kudrinskaya ploschad or Кудринская площадь that Tchaikovsky worked on his Second Symphony, the symphonic fantasy The TempestRussian: Burya or Буря and musical numbers for The SnowmaidenRussian: Snegurochka or Снегурочка, a play by Alexander Ostrovskya Russian playwright, generally considered the greatest representative of the Russian realistic period. In short, Tchaikovsky made a fruitful and successful start in his career and his life once he moved to Moscow.
Exhibits and events
This small but intimate museum is designed in the late 19th-century style. The nine rooms feature interiors of the period, complete with paintings, musical instruments and other knickknacks which were in fashion among the Muscovites at that time. Exhibits include Tchaikovsky’s personal effects, including musical scores, manuscripts, photographs, letters and other documents of historical significance, along with some items which belonged to his family and friends. Over 50 of Tchaikovsky’s rare autographs are also on display here.
Various events held at the museum also attract visitors. Continuous sound recordings create a special atmosphere in the rooms, and the staff are obliging and often stage interactive performances for visitors. For example, they have exciting adventure games, roleplays and mini concerts for children of all ages. The concert hall hosts performances by renowned musicians from all over the world, while the design of the sound and exhibit spaces further contributes to the special atmosphere. The museum has a 60-seat music lounge and an exhibition hall which can hold up to 120 guests.
Music concerts, festivals, exhibitions and meet-the-artist sessions are held here regularly, along with museum activities for kids, master classes and celebrations in unusual formats. Original theme-based exhibitions drawing upon exhibits from other museums are also traditional here, so it is best to visit more than once – you are sure to find something different here each time. This museum is also a great place to visit by yourself or to come with your family and friends. You can even have your birthday party here, steeped in the musical and intellectual atmosphere of imperial Russia which so attracts visitors today.
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