The Odessa Section of the Imperial Russian Musical Society: Formation and Summation

Tatiana M. Kaplun


The activities of the Odessa Section of the Imperial Russian Musical Society (IRMS) during the years 1884–1917
comprises a special page of the musical history of Odessa. Relying on anterior experience of the Odessa musical
traditions of the first half of the 19th century, during a short period of time the Odessa Section brought out the musical
life of the city onto a higher degree on all levels (the concert-enlightening and entertaining), which made it possible for
Odessa to take up a significant position not only in the social-cultural life, but also in the sphere of musical culture. As
the result of the active efforts of the Odessa Section of the IRMS and the Musical Classes opened under its auspices,
the Musical College was opened (1897) and, later, the Conservatory (1913), – the latter being the fourth in Russia and
the first in Ukraine. The altruistic help, enthusiasm and self-sacrifice of the Odessa cultural activists, aristocracy and
patrons, as well as the help of the metropolitan section of the IRMS and the most significant musicians of St. Petersburg
and Moscow (the brothers Anton and Nikolai Rubinstein, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Piotr Tchaikovsky, Eduard
Napravnik, Alexander Glazunov and others) made it possible to create a highly professional level of the musical life
of the city. The traditions laid by the activities of the Odessa Section have been actively developed since that time (the
ten-year Piotr Stolyarsky School, the concert life of the Philharmonic Society and the Opera Theater, the “Two Days
and Two Nights of New Music” International Festival for Contemporary Music).

Keywords: The Odessa Section of the Imperial Russian Musical Society (IRMS), the Odessa Musical College, the
Odessa Conservatory, the Musical Classes, Piotr Sokalsky, Odessa patrons.

Full Text:



Deribas A. M. Staraya Odessa. Istoricheskie ocherki i vospominaniya [Old Odessa. Historical Essays and Reminiscences]. Odessa, 1913. 379 p.

Zima T. Yu. Russkoe muzykal'noe obshchestvo kak sotsiokul'turnoe yavlenie v Rossii vtoroy poloviny XIX – nachala XX vekov: avtoref. dis. … d-ra kul'turologii [The Russian Musical Society as a Sociocultural Phenomenon in Russia in the Second Half of the 19th Century and the Early 20th Century: Thesis of Dissertation for the Degree of Doctor of Culturology]. Moscow, 2015. 38 р.

Kupert T. Muzykal'noe proshloe Tomska (v pis'makh k A. G. Rubinshteynu) [Tomsk’s Musical Past (in Letters to Anton G. Rubinstein)]. Tomsk, 2006. 787 p.

Maksimenko V. Sem'ya Rubinshteyn i Odessa [The Rubinstein Family and Odessa]. URL: http://www. (15.10.2018).

Miroshnichenko S. V. Stanovlenie muzykal'nogo professionalizma v Odesse (dokonservatorskiy period): monografiya [The Formation of Musical Professionalism in Odessa (The Pre-Conservatory Period): Monograph]. Odessa: Astroprint, 2013. 228 p.

Orfeev S. D. Istoriya Odesskoy konservatorii (istoricheskiy ocherk) [History of the Odessa Conservatory (A Historical Essay)]. Odessa, 1963. 67 p. The manuscript is preserved in the library of the Odessa National Nezhdanova Academy of Music.

Rozenberg R. M. Muzykal'naya Odessa [Musical Odessa]. Odessa: Otdel oblastnogo upravleniya po pechati, 1995. 160 p.

Rozenberg R. M. Rol' IRMO v muzykal'noy zhizni Odessy [The Role of the IRMS in the Musical Life of Odessa]. Russkoe muzykal'noe obshchestvo (1859–1917). Istoriya otdeleniy [The Russian Musical Society (1859– 1917). History of the Sections]. Moscow, 2012, pp. 319–336.

Smetannikova A. Yu. The Rostov Branch of the Imperial Russian Musical Society: the First Decade of its Work. Problemy muzykal'noj nauki/Music Scholarship. 2015. No. 1 (18), pp. 89–94. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.17674/1997-0854.2015.1.18.089-094.

Yudina V. I. Iz istorii kul'turnoy politiki v dorevolyutsionnoy Rossii: Russkoe muzykal'noe obshchestvo vo vtoroy polovine XIX v. [From the History of Cultural Policy in Pre-Revolutionary Russia: Russian Musical Society in the Second Half of the 19th Century]. Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta [Bulletin of the Tomsk State University]. 2011, pp. 81–84.

Polotskaya Elena E. Concerning the History of Education of Music Theorists and Composers in the First Russian Conservatories. Problemy muzykal'noj nauki/Music Scholarship. 2017. No. 4, pp. 100–107. DOI: 10.17674/1997-0854.2017.4.100-107.

Rovner Anton А. Contemporary Music in Odessa: the Festival “Two Days and Two Nights of New Music” in April 2017. Problemy muzykal'noj nauki/Music Scholarship. 2017. No. 2, pp. 72–77. DOI: 10.17674/1997-0854.2017.2.072-077.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.