The Innovations of the Imperial Russian Musical Society of the Second Half of the 19th Century: The Dialogue between the Government and the Musical Community

Natalia I. Efimova


The article examines the activities of the Russian Musical Society / Imperial Russian Musical Society (RMS/
IRMS) in the context of the innovational transformations in Russia after the reforms of Tsar Alexander II. The privategovernmental
networking model of the IRMS, formed in many ways due to the tight interaction of the government (the
imperial house) and the musical community, became the first national model in Russia which lay the foundations for
the country’s musical infrastructure. The dialogue between the government and society motivated and united for the
sake of solving a relevant problem the capital city and the provinces, the crowned persons, aristocrats and the business
elite, professional musicians and amateurs, devotees, enthusiasts and sympathizers, i.e., all those who comprehended
the development music not as a commercial affair, but as a service to the good of society. The mechanism of interaction
between the government and the artistic community, tested out by the activities of the RMS/IRMS, was brought to an
effective result. In the present day the activities of the RMS/IRMS are fairly evaluated in the categories of a socially
oriented project. In the conditions when questions are actively raised in the international space about the “decline and
degradation of social consciousness” and the transformation of the role of the citizen to the level of a simple consumer
of goods and services, the actualization of the historical succession of the experience of the socio-cultural work in the
direction of academic classical music becomes especially important.

Keywords: facts from the history of the Russian Musical Society / Imperial Russian Musical Society (RMS/
IRMS), innovative activity, dialogue between the government and the musical community, historical succession.

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