The Moscow Section of the Imperial Russian Musical Society and the Concert Agencies Outside of Russia

Elena M. Shabshaevich


The article poses a scholarly issue, which has not yet found reflection in musicology in Russia and in other
countries: the issue of the interaction of Russian and Western European musical culture in the focus of the
collaboration of the Moscow Section of the Imperial Russian Musical Society (IRMS) with concert agencies in
other countries. A broad overview of the present phenomenon, based on study of printed and manuscript documents
from the funds of the Russian National Museum of Music and the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art
is offered. The emergence of the phenomenon of specialized concert agencies in Europe dates back to the 1870s
and the 1880s. The period of the most fruitful interaction between the Moscow Section of the IRMS and concert
directorates in other countries, especially, the most large-scale concert agency of the final fourth of the 19th and the
first third of the 20th centuries, the Concert Directorate of Hermann Wolff, occurred during the years 1890–1913.
In connection with the toughening competition between the orchestral assemblies of the RMS in Moscow and
concerts of other philharmonic organizations, the head of the Moscow directorate Vassily Safonov established a
stable business relationship with his partners in concert management abroad, which subsequently expanded and
solidified, which eventually led to the intensification of connections between Russian musicians and those of other
countries. The outlined scholarly direction discloses new perspectives for study of the phenomenon of the musical
culture of the Silver Age.

Keywords: Imperial Russian Musical Society (IRMS), the musical life of Moscow, concert management, Vassily
Safonov, the Concert Direction of Hermann Wolff.

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