Tchaikovsky Concert Hall : Moscow State Philharmonic Society


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Getting to the Hall

Metro: Mayakovskaya

Address: Triumfalnaya square, 4

Ticket office: 9 AM through 10 PM


September 1, 7 p.m.
September 6, 7 p.m.
September 11, 7 p.m.
September 12, 7 p.m.
September 13, 7 p.m.
September 14, 7 p.m.
September 16, 7 p.m.
September 18, 7 p.m.
September 19, 7 p.m.
September 20, 7 p.m.

О зале

The Tchaikovsky Concert Hallat Triumfalnaya Square is the main venue for the Moscow Philharmonic Society. It was opened on 12 October 1940, to mark Peter Tchaikovsky's 100th birthday,and received the composer’s name. The history of this hall has reflected Russia's culture over the last 80 years, as it has hosted the performances of every renowned musician from Russia and worldwide, premièring Russian and international music. The hall is a venue for about 300 concerts per year, attended by over 400 000 people. It has a Rieger–Kloss organ. The hall's lower foyer screens free broadcasts of the concerts.

The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall is one of the biggest in Russia, with a seating capacity of 1505.

The corner of Tverskaya and Bolshaya Sadovaya streets was initially home to the Bouffe-Miniature theatre founded by the French impresario Charles Aumon and later to the Zon entertainment theatre followed by the Theatre of the Russian Socialist Republic. In 1922, the building was handed over to Vsevolod Meyerhold Theatre and saw his famous productions such as Vladimir Mayakovsky's Mystery-Bouffe, The Government Inspector, and Woe to Wit. In 1932, the building had to undergo major structural repairs. The project of a new hall, drafted by Mikhail Barkhin and Sergey Vakhtangov, was inspired by Ancient Greek amphitheatres. The project of the building's exterior, however, came to be criticised and saw a number of changes. When Meyerhold fell into official disfavour, the decision was taken to convert the theatre into a concert hall, although its initial layout was mainly preserved by the architects Dmitry Chechulin and Konstantin Orlov.

The new venue was assigned to the Moscow Philharmonic Society. It opened the doors on 12 October 1940, to mark Peter Tchaikovsky's 100th birthday. The hall got a 19th century organ by the German builder E.F. Walker, originally located in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul on St. Petersburg's Nevsky avenue (and played by Peter Tchaikovsky back in the 1860s).

From its very first season onwards, the new hall kept gaining fame across the Soviet Union. The Philharmonic Society continued its operation during the World War II, when a state of siege was proclaimed in Moscow. Over 1000 concerts were held over the war years, attended by more than 2 million people.

In post-war period, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall extended its playbill, engaging variety performers, dramatic actors, and dance companies along with academic musicians, hosting Soviet choreographers' and dancers' competitions and international chess tournaments. Virtually every renowned musician from Europe has performed here on their Russian tours, Since 1962, the hall has been hosting the auditions of the International Tchaikovsky Competition. September 1959 saw the grand opening of a new custom-built organ by the Czechoslovakian firm Rieger–Kloss.

In the 2004/2005 season, the hall underwent renovation with its space re-organised: now the stalls can be easily dismantled making way to the orchestra and freeing the stage for opera productions. In 2008, the hall's acoustics were significantly improved through the setting up of dedicated acoustic shields, and the foyer regained its original appearance.

Rieger-Kloss Organ Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

Tchaikovsky Concert Hall has sported an organ from the very first days of its operation. In 1940 the venue housed an instrument manufactured by Germany’s E. F. Walcker that had been previously located at St. Peter and Paul’s cathedral in St. Petersburg. It was one of the best organs of its period that had been used to train students of St. Petersburg Conservatory, including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky himself. However, the instrument was seriously damaged when it was disassembled and shipped to Moscow. Upon completion of numerous stages of repair and restoration the first performance took place only in November of 1947 (Hugo Lepnurm, Estonia). The next decade wasn’t kind to the organ which was rarely performed on.

Mid 1950s spawned a whirlwind of interest in the art of organ performance: a standing commission on pipe organ manufacturing was formed within the framework of the USSR Ministry of Culture, many music schools started to offer organ performance classes. The Soviet organ production boom has begun! And the first product to be manufactured was the unique Tchaikovsky Concert Hall organ.

The idea of substituting the Walcker organ for a modern one belonged to Jiří Reinberger, a Czech organist, who performed in Moscow in 1956. Mitrofan Belotserkovsky, Director of Moscow Philharmonic Society, ordered the acquisition of the new pipe organ. Leonid Roizman, an outstanding Soviet organist and the Chair of the aforementioned commission, advised to choose Rieger-Kloss company from Czechoslovakia as a manufacturer of the instrument. Their craftsmen have tackled this challenge brilliantly: they manufactured a state-of-the-art versatile instrument capable of performing music of different periods and music styles; until 2003 it had been the largest organ in Moscow and still is one of the largest in Russia. It took eight specially designed railcars to ship the instrument from Czechoslovakia to the USSR.

The organ was inaugurated on September 26, 1959. Jiří Reinbergerwas given the honor of being the first performer playing pieces by Purcell, Bach, Franck, Dupré, Hindemith, Eben, Sokol and his own transcription of Shostakovich’s prelude and fugue for piano. The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall is tightly integrated with the entire history of modern-day organ performance art in Russia. Within the last 60 years music fans from Moscow have been exposed to organists from essentially all countries of Europe, as well as from USA and Canada. This list features some top performers: Ernst Köhler, an organist and composer from Germany, founder of Leipzig Bach Festival; Hannes Kästner, organist at St. Thomas Church, Leipzig; Flor Peeters, Jean Guillou, Guy Bovet, Olivier Latry, Hugo Lepnurm, Leopoldas Digrys and other outstanding musicians.

A number of generations grew up attending organ performances at Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. Numerous years the public enjoyed organ performances by Garry Grodberg (available through subscription packages), one of the greatest organists of his time. Presently, the main hall of Moscow Philharmonic Society routinely features festivals of organ music and performances by leading Russian and international masters. Nine Centuries of Organ Music and Music for Organ and Orchestra series (available through subscription) enjoy great popularity with the public as well.

The organ of Tchaikovsky Concert Hall has 4 keyboards, a pedal board and 81 stops. Its dimensions: length 11 m, width 6 m, height 8 m. Internally the organ comprises 3 ranks housing 7,800 pipes: the largest average 6,5 m in height, 2,6 m in diameter and weight up to 220 kg; the smallest – 20 mm in height, their diameter equivalent to a match head size.

The initial organ specifications were designed by Jiří Reinbergerin collaboration with Leonid Roizman. Later the instrument twice received an overhaul: in 1970 and 1977 when Garry Grodberg initiated a significant change in organ specifications and an increase in organ stops. The unique lineup of voices makes it possible to use the organ to perform Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque music, including pieces by Spanish composers, pieces by German, French and British authors of the Romantic period, as well music composed in 20-21 centuries.

The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall pipe organ still remains one the best in Russia. It’s part of Russia’s national heritage and an important historic artefact (both technologically and artistically). It’s exterior epitomizes its era: the austere façade of the instrument fits in perfectly with stark outlines of the stage creating the feeling of completeness and grandeur.


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