The Conservatory in Russian Society

Lynn M. Sargeant

in Harmony and Discord

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735266
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894505 | DOI:

Series: The New Cultural History of Music Series

The Conservatory in Russian Society

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This chapter explores the foundation and development of the Russian Musical society's flagship institutions, the St. Petersburg and Moscow conservatories. Like similar institutions elsewhere in Europe, the Russian conservatories were founded to foster the professionalization of music. However, high demand for musical instruction by the nascent middle classes, especially on the piano, subverted the professionalizing intentions of the conservatories' founders. Nevertheless, the conservatories became Russian cultural icons and played a key role in the institutionalization of musical life. The chapter examines the admissions process, the curriculum, the credentials awarded to graduates, the question of talent, and the cost of tuition and its consequences for the gender and class structure of the student body.

Keywords: St. Petersburg Conservatory; Moscow Conservatory; admissions; curriculum; gender; tuition; institutionalization; middle classes; piano; talent

Chapter.  15060 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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