Russian national Museum of musicToday, the Russian national Museum of music is an unparalleled treasury of musical culture heritage.
It is the repository for a unique collection of musical and literary autograph manuscripts, research works on the history of culture, rare books, and printed music. The Consortium’s holdings include more than 700,000 items. The collection of the Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture includes autographs, letters, photographs and various documents related to life and work of eminent figures of Russian and foreign musical culture.
The Musical Instruments of the World collection holds a special place in the collection.
In May 2010, the Museum received items from the State Collection of Unique Musical Instruments of the Russian Federation, which is a large collection of string instruments created by masters from different countries and periods. The collection includes masterpieces by Antonio Stradivari and the Guarneri and Amati families.
A vast collection of audio and video records, and collection of graphic items includes masterpieces that could be the gems of collections owned by the world’s best art museums.
The Museum Consortium is also a renowned research center. Its staff conducts research and works to locate and introduce unknown, forgotten or unidentified works, autographs, and names of musical figures to the academic and cultural world. They also publish scores and literary manuscripts, the epistolary heritage of musicians, and iconographic materials.
The Consortium has a sophisticated recording studio and a concert hall (Prokofiev hall) with an organ manufactured by the German company Schuke (Potsdam). In the entry hall of the Central Museum of Musical Culture, you will find the oldest organ in Russia, made by German master Friedrich Ladegast. This organ is played in concerts.
Visitors of all ages are attracted by tours and workshop sessions, mixed-style concerts, interactive classes, and events of all sorts.
The exhibition space and the entry hall of the Central Museum of Musical Culture often host concerts of historic musical instruments, and the organ hall hosts concerts and festivals.
The member museums of the Consortium include the Central Museum of Musical Culture, Memorial Apartment of Alexander Goldenweiser, Memorial Apartment of Nikolai Golovanov, Feodor Chaliapin Memorial Estates, the “Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Moscow” Museum, the Sergei Prokofiev Museum, and the Sergei Taneyev Memorial House (being created).
No other country has such a large-scale musical museum. It is no wonder that in the beginning of 1995 the President of the Russian Federation enacted a Decree that included the Museum Consortium in the State Body of Especially Valuable Cultural Heritage Sites of the Peoples of the Russian Federation.
The Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture (formerly the Glinka Central State Museum of Musical Culture) was founded more than 100 years ago.
Its foundation date is March 11, 1912 (Julian Calendar). On that day, the museum of Nikolai Rubinstein, the founder of the Moscow Conservatory and an eminent musician who was very popular with music lovers in Moscow, was opened in a room next to the Conservatory library.
Apart from the personal belongings of Nikolai Rubinstein, the first permanent exhibition of the museum included musical instruments, manuscripts, rare autographs, and documents. At first, the museum was visited mainly by Conservatory students and lecturers, but later, in the early 1930s, after the permanent exposition was relocated to the lobby of the Moscow Conservatory's Grand Hall, it was visited by concertgoers. For about 30 years, this Museum was quite a modest one, having only one employee who headed it.
However, shortly before the 75th anniversary of the Moscow Conservatory, the Museum started more active work in different areas, including exhibitions, publicity, and research. The collection started to grow quickly.
In 1941, the Museum became the basis for the “Nikolai Rubinstein Central Museum of Musical Culture”, which was then a part of the Conservatory. In 1943, the Museum was separated from the Conservatory and included by the Art Committee of the USSR Council of People's Commissars in its list of museums of national standing. On August 31, 1944, the Committee enacted the Regulations on the Central State Museum of Musical Culture, identifying it as a research and educational institution of national standing.
Starting in the mid-1940s, the name of Nikolai Rubinstein gradually disappeared from the official name of the Museum. In 1954, as part of a celebration of Mikhail Glinka's 150th birthday, the Central State Museum of Musical Culture was named after this eminent Russian composer.
Up to the early 1960s, the Central State Museum of Musical Culture was located in the Conservatory. Then it was relocated to the “Palaty Troekurovykh” (the Troekurovs' Palazzo), a heritage-listed building constructed in the 17th century in Georgievsky Pereulok. In the early 1980s, the Museum moved to Fadeeva Street, to a building specially constructed for it as per the design of architect Joseph Loveyko. The new premises enabled the Museum to set up a new permanent exposition of musical instruments of the world and to start hosting regular concerts and exhibitions, museum collections, clubs, and subscription events for children and adults.
Its first branch appeared in the late 1950s. This was after Alexander Goldenweiser, a famous pianist, educationist, and social activist donated his archive, book collection, and items of memorial value to the State, and his flat became a branch of the Central State Museum of Musical Culture. This museum exhibition was opened in April of 1959.
In late 1969, another branch of the Museum was opened. This was the Memorial Apartment of Nikolai Golovanov, which became a creative laboratory for conducting. Its exhibition was opened to the general public in 1974.
In 1979, another department (branch) was opened. This was the “Museum of Feodor Chaliapin and the History of Vocal Art”. It took several years to restore the mansion where Feodor Chaliapin and his family resided in the early 20th century, so it opened for visitors only in 1988. In 1998, the outbuilding of the mansion started to host the museum exhibition gallery “Feodor Chaliapin’s House”. Now this museum complex named the Feodor Chaliapin Memorial Estates.
On May 18, 2007, another department of the Consortium was opened. This was the “Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Moscow” Museum located in Kudrinskaya Square, where Tchaikovsky rented an apartment in 1872-1873.
In an effort to create a broader network of memorial museums of eminent musical figures, the Consortium has acquired the house in Kamergersky Pereulok where Sergei Prokofiev spent his last years.
Furthermore, the Consortium is working to create a memorial museum of Sergei Taneyev, to be located in a small house in Vlasyevsky Pereulok where this composer, pianist, and eminent music researcher, often called “the Conscience of Musical Moscow”, resided in 1904-1915.
In September of 2011, the Museum received its new name, the “Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture”, pursuant to Order No. 921 of the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, recognizing the Museum’s structure that has been formed over the decades of its activity.