Free School of Music

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Free School of Music


a music education institution in St. Petersburg. The Free School of Music was founded in 1862 by M. A. Balakirev (who was its head until 1874 and from 1881 to 1908) and G. Ia. Lomakin. Between 1874 and 1881 the school was directed by N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. Beginning in 1908 it was directed by S. M. Liapunov. It existed until the Great October Socialist Revolution.

The activity of the Free School of Music reflected the democratic social movement of progressive intellectuals during the 1860’s. It was related to the Sunday schools of general education and art, since it provided a wide circle of students, artisans, clerks, and other persons with a primary musical education. A choir made up of the students was organized at the school. Its concerts were a center for propagandizing Russian music (the works of M. I. Glinka, A. S. Dargomyzhskii, and especially the works of the “Russian Five,” including Balakirev, M. P. Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov), as well as the works of Western European composers (Beethoven, Schumann, Berlioz, and Liszt). These concerts facilitated the development of a Russian style of musical performance and played an important role in developing Russian choral work. The school’s activity was hindered by its difficult financial position and the hostile attitude of the bureaucratic circles of tsarist Russia.


Stasov, V. V. “Dvadtsatipiatiletie Besplatnoi muzykal’noi shkoly.” Sobr. soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1953.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Later in the same year, 1862, Gavril Lomakin (1812-85) and Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) opened the "Free School of Music," a school that catered to all whom the conservatory would not have.
As mentioned earlier, the Free School of Music was a direct response to the conservatory for those not able to attend.