Russian Society of Music

Russian Society of Music


(from 1869, the Imperial Society of Music), a musical society existing from 1859 to 1917 and organized in St. Petersburg on the initiative of A. G. Rubinstein. The society had as its aim “the development of music education and a taste for music in Russia and the encouragement of the country’s gifted people.” It was headed by a committee of directors, initially by Matv. Iu. Viel’gorskii, V. A. Kologrivov, D. V. Kanshin, Rubinstein, and D. V. Stasov; Rubinstein directed its early activities. In St. Petersburg the society organized symphony and chamber concerts in which the finest Russian and foreign artists performed. It established music classes in St. Petersburg in 1859, which became the foundation for Russia’s first conservatory, created in 1862. Branches of the society were opened in Moscow (1860), Kiev (1863), Kazan (1864), Saratov (1873), and other cities. The local branches organized concerts and established institutions of music education. In 1865 the main directorate of the society was established. Despite the conservatism and reactionary character of the directorate, the society’s work reflected the educational aspirations of prominent social circles and played a major role in the development of a professional musical culture in Russia.


Findeizen, N. Ocherk deiatel’nosti S.-Peterburgskogo otdeleniia Russkogo muzykal’nogo obshchestva (1859—1909). St. Petersburg, 1909.


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