Saint Petersburg Conservatory facts for kids

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Theatre Square and the conservatory in 1913.

The Saint Petersburg Conservatory is a famous music school in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its full name is N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory (Russian: Санкт-Петербургская государственная консерватория имени Н.А. Римского-Корсакова). In 2004, the conservatory had around 275 teaching members and 1,400 students.


The conservatory was founded in 1862 by the Russian pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein. When he resigned in 1867, he was followed by Nikolai Zaremba. The great composer Rimsky-Korsakov joined the teaching staff in 1871. The conservatory was named after him in 1944.

In 1887, Rubinstein returned to the Conservatory to try to improve it. Students who were not very good had to leave, and he also got rid of some of the professors and made the entrance examinations harder. He resigned again in 1891.

The building we see today was built in the 1890s where the Bolshoi Theatre of Saint Petersburg had stood. It still has the grand staircase and landing from that historic theatre. As the city changed its name in the 20th century, the conservatory was renamed Petrograd Conservatory (Петроградская консерватория) and then the Leningrad Conservatory (Ленинградская консерватория).

Today, it is a famous Russian composition school whose graduates have included great composers such as Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich. During the 1960s, Shostakovich taught at the conservatory, which made it even more famous.

Directors and rectors

Notable teachers

Notable graduates

  • George Balanchine – choreographer
  • Richard Burgin - violinist, conductor
  • Sergei Diaghilev - impressario
  • Valery Gergiev
  • Jascha Heifetz - violinist
  • Alexander Ilyinsky
  • Mariss Jansons
  • Artur Kapp
  • Eduard Khil - singer and internet sensation
  • Miroslav Kultyshev
  • Anatoly Lyadov
  • Witold Maliszewski
  • Nathan Milstein - violinist
  • Anna Netrebko
  • Sergei Prokofiev - composer
  • Gal Rasche - conductor
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff - pianist, composer
  • Clara Rockmore
  • Dmitri Shostakovich - composer
  • Grigory Sokolov - pianist
  • Vladimir Sofronitsky
  • Yuri Temirkanov - conductor
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - composer
  • Solomon Volkov - musicologist
  • Ivan Yershov - singer
  • Anna Yesipova - pianist
  • Maria Yudina - pianist
  • Valery Viktorovich Zhelobinsky - pianist, composer

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Saint Petersburg Conservatory Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.