Classical music in Moscow
Hello to classical music lovers from all over the world!
Are you planning to visit Moscow and listen to Russian classical music, admire masterpieces by Russian composers and feel the atmosphere of world-famous Russian music halls? Then I hope you will find this article helpful. I am a musician and I want to share with you where to go to listen to classical music in Moscow based on my own experience.
A great choice for listening to classical music in Moscow would be one of the halls of Moscow State Conservatory named by Tchaikovsky.
There are three of them (the main ones but also there are a couple of little ones not so far): Great Hall, Small Hall and Rachmaninov’s Hall of Moscow State Conservatory. Every day (!) there are concerts happening in each of the Halls. So if you are by any chance can’t get to a concert in one of the Halls – don’t get upset, go out of the building, turn the corner and get to another concert which is most likely will be as exciting and impressive!
Location: 13/6 Bolshaya Nikitskaya St., Moscow. The entrance is behind the back of Tchaikovsky’s monument.
Impressions: When I first got there to listen to a concert 5 years ago, I couldn’t believe my ears how clear and soft the music sounded. That was a huge impression, I listened to Mahler’s 7th symphony performed by State Academic Symphony orchestra “Evgeny Svetlanov” conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, which is one of the best Russian orchestras.
For a musician playing in Great Concert Hall of Moscow Conservatory is a big event, so the quality of playing there usually is perfect. What kind of music is usually played: In this Hall, you can enjoy mostly symphonic music as well as opera or ballet music – in a concert interpretation (without dancing or acting). But also you can hear solo and chamber music.
What is special: One of the most significant things in this place is its organ – one of the biggest in Russia.
You can recognize this hall by the portraits of famous composers inside the hall: there are fourteen of them on both sides. They were painted by N. Bodarevsky. There are not only Russian classical music composers, so if you are interested, go and explore whose portraits are hanging inside one of the main Russian music halls.
Last but not least is the price for a ticket. It is really humane, democratic, nice. It varies from 300 to 3000 rubles. For music students the entrance is free. That is the thing I adore about our Conservatory. The great beauty is so close and available.
Location: 13/6 Bolshaya Nikitskaya St., Moscow.
The entrance is to the Small Hall is to the left of the monument to Tchaikovsky if you look at him.
To find the entrance to Rachmaninov’s Hall you need to walk along with the building to the left and there will be “a pocket” with the entrance.
Impressions: Small and Rachmaninov’s halls of Moscow Conservatory are both must-see if you are a chamber music fan. Thanks to acoustic the music played in these halls can reach the deepest parts of your soul and make the thinnest emotions to be felt. That is lyric of course but pure truth.
What is special: I only want to tell one story. In these two halls usually, recitals are held as well as concerts of different classes (violin, piano, vocal, composition etc.) And once there was a concert of composition class in Rachmaninov’s Hall. As we live in the 21st century, the pieces played there were extraordinary. So the audience was lucky to hear the “Ode to beautiful souls” performed by two drills (yes), sirens and rusty iron. Excluding this concert, you can also enjoy musical instruments there. So don’t hesitate to visit me!
There are two more big music halls I want to share with you within this article: Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Philarmony) and Zaryadye Hall.
Location: Tverskaya St., 31/4, Moscow
Impressions: This is a special place where I was lucky to hear world-famous and outstanding musicians like Maxim Vengerov (violin), Eliso Virsalaze (piano), Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and many other performances which made a deep impression on me. Sometimes there are special performances which are top interesting!
What is special: on the 1st floor there is a fancy restaurant “Tchaikovsky” (it is a quite logical name) so you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of a pie before the concert.
There is also an entrance to Mayakovskaya metro station right in the building of the Tchaikovsky concert hall.
Location: Varvarka St., 6, bld. 4, Moscow
Impressions: One of my favorite places situated in one of my favorite parks. This hall is a masterpiece: its modern architecture, it’s acoustic, its location finally (next to the Kremlin and Red Square). The first concert I got to was a concert by Bobby McFerrin (he sings the song “Don’t Worry Be Happy”) and that was amazing! He improvised on the stage with his band of singers and in some moments he began to choose people from the audience for improvising with him.
What is special: There is an amphitheater where people can watch the concert in real-time on the huge screen in the summertime.
Zaryadye is a huge park with many attractions: there is a Floating bridge, a media center with exhibitions, there is even an ice cave (for very hot days just hide in this freezer). Also, the view is amazing, the panorama of Moscow is excellently seen from the hills in this park.
Classical music is one of the Russian prides. And if the best way for you to spend an evening is to visit a concert, you know where to go in Moscow! For other activities, do not hesitate to contact the ExploRussia team, we can make your trip to Russia unforgettable!
written by Alexandra Gribanova, local guide