St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia

St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia named after D. D. Shostakovicha

Grand Hall

Arts Square, Entrance No 1

Small Hall

Nevsky av., 30.


In the center of St. Petersburg is the oldest in Russia Academic Philharmonic, which has two concert halls of European level: the Great /Bolshoy and the Small/Maly, has two symphony orchestras that have received high recognition all over the world.

The philharmonic society bears the name of the outstanding composer Dmitry Shostakovich in memory of the many years of fruitful cooperation and the premiere author's performance of his First Symphony in 1926.

The story begins with the Maly Hall/Maly Zal, in an old mansion on Nevsky Prospekt, known in St. Petersburg as the home of Engelhardt/Dom Engelgardta. It was here at the beginning of the 19th century that the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society held open concerts, at which prominent European and domestic performers shone.

Very soon, this place becomes the center of attraction for the cultural life of the capital. The building designed by B. Rastrelli is being rebuilt by the architect P.P. Jaco in the style of late classicism, and in 1832 a new concert hall with 400 seats appeared in it with magnificent acoustics, where musical evenings of the Noble Assembly and masquerades are held. The lines in the Masquerade (1835), belonging to M.Yu. Lermontov: "… after all now are the holidays and, rightly, the disguise of Engelgardt …".

In 1839, architect P.P. Jaco erects a building on Iskustv Square, keeping the project of K.I. Rossi.

Inside the building, a luxurious staircase leads to an incredibly beautiful and huge snow-white hall with columns and crystal chandeliers, first-class acoustics, which can hold 1,500 people. This is the Bolshoy Philharmonic Hall.

The date of the grand opening of the Petrograd Philharmonic Hall becomes June 12, 1921, when a symphony concert was held, dedicated to the works of P.I. Tchaikovsky, under the leadership of a talented conductor and the first director of the Philharmonic E. Cooper.

In 1949 the Small Chamber Hall/Maly Kamerny Zal named after M.I. Glinka. In continuation of the old traditions, new European music is heard here and today, music competitions and festivals are held.

Interesting Facts

  • Outstanding conductor E.A. Mravinsky devoted 50 years of his activity (1938-1988) to the philharmonic society. Under his leadership, the main performing team, whose full name is the Honored Team of Russia Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, becomes one of the best in the world.
  • During the war years in the besieged Leningrad, the only remaining symphony orchestra of the radio committee gave concerts. On July 9, 1942, on the stage of the Great Hall/Bolshoy Zal of the Philharmonic, he performed the Seventh (Leningrad) Symphony of D. Shostakovich. In memory of this event, which had great importance, a memorial plaque was installed on the wall of the building. The orchestra itself in 1953 becomes the second musical group of the Philharmonic and changes its name. Since then, and until now - is the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. Currently working under the direction of the chief conductor A. Dmitriev.
  • The organ of the Great Hall/Bolshoy Zal deserves special mention. This remarkable tool of the company, Walker, was originally installed in one of the medical institutes and served the purpose of healing patients, being part of a scientific methodology. In order to avoid the fate of the destruction that befell many organs during the period of the rise of Soviet power, in 1931 he was transferred to the philharmonic.
  • The reconstruction of the Great Hall/Bolshoy Zal in 2007 not only restored historical interiors, but also returned that special atmosphere, thanks to which it still remains “one of the best places on earth”, according to well-known literary critic I. Andronikov. Visitors are expected not only by the masterly performance of musical masterpieces in the stunningly beautiful hall, but also by the Dvoryanskoe Sobraniye restaurant, the cozy cafe Shokolad the lobby decorated as a museum, which presents sculptures and photographic portraits of great musicians, commemorative plaques, posters and programs for important concerts .

Repertoire and creative activity

One of the most prominent conductors of our time, Yuri Temirkanov, managed to save the Honored Russian team and its prestige in the difficult 90s of the last century. Since 1988, he has been the artistic director of the philharmonic society and principal conductor of the main orchestra. In 2005, the orchestra opened the season at Carnegie Hall, and in 2006 it was included in the Top 10 symphony orchestras in Europe.

The Ploshchad Iskustv festival, which unites the Russian Museum, the Mikhailovsky Theater, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and the Musical Comedy Theater, has been launched for a decade and a half. From the very beginning, the main hall of the philharmonic society was and remains its main participant, and the permanent founder is the festival founder Y. Temirkanov.

The Bolshoy and Maly Zal of the Academic Philharmonic of St. Petersburg are among the best concert venues in the world, it is an honor to perform here for the greatest musicians of all countries. In order not to miss the exciting event, it is better to purchase tickets on the official website of the Philharmonic in advance, as concerts are held with a sell-out.

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