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The Presidential Library’s new virtual tour features two centuries of Russian music

21 June 2021

Today new virtual tour of the exhibition “History of Philharmonia in the collections of the Music Library. Marking the 100th anniversary of the D. D. Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia”, presented on the Presidential Library’s portal provides more material about the national musical culture.

This year, the D. D. Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia celebrates two anniversaries at once: on May 13, 1921, the first philharmonic society in our country (at that time Petrogradskaya) was established. On June 12 of the same year, the first concert took place.

The Philharmonia traces its history back to 1882 - with the formation of the Court Orchestra (now an honored collective of Russia). At the same time, the formation of a notorious depository later based on modern collections of the Philharmonia Music Library, launched.

Through the prism of this collection, which features rare and noteworthy materials, one can see two centuries of Russian music - from the emergence of the first musical societies in Russia and the opening of the Noble Assembly hall to the present day.

The interactive exposition on the Presidential Library’s portal presents copies of sheet music that belonged to Emperor Alexander III, a collection of materials from the orchestra of Count A. D. Sheremetev as well as the personal library of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, organizer and first chairman of the Russian Musical Society (1859). Many of these publications have exquisite design by such outstanding masters as, for example, Ivan Bilibin. One cannot but mention the rarities of the 17th – 18th centuries - opera scores by the court composer Louis XIV J.-B. Lully, claviers and scores by W. Mozart and J.-J. Russo.  

Over the past hundred years, the Music Library has been collecting documentary evidence of the Philharmonia's extensive activities: concert programs and posters, photographs of performers, clippings from periodicals, tour materials, etc. A special group is made up of special library materials that have accumulated in the collection since the time of the Court Orchestra: books records of concerts, handwritten documents of the library's creative and economic activities, handwritten catalogs and library cards - what can be called cultural memory.

The valuable collection of the Music Library opens endless spaces for thoughtful research of Russian musical culture, an outstanding role in the development of which is played by the St. Petersburg Philharmonia.

The exhibition “History of Philharmonia in the collections of the Music Library. Marking the 100th anniversary of the D. D. Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia” has been organized by the Presidential Library and the D. D. Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia. The partner is the M. Gorky Scientific Library of St. Petersburg State University.

Virtual projects are an actively developing area of the Presidential Library's activity, thanks to which the electronic repository, along with paper, photo, audio and video materials, is replenished with exhibits from the exhibitions and items from museum collections.

Today there are more than twenty-five virtual tours and excursions available for remote visits. They are now available on the Presidential Library’s portal in the Exhibitions section at the link https://www.prlib.ru/about_exhibition.