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Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra


The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russia's oldest symphonic ensemble, was founded in 1882 - when on the Order of Alexander III, the Court musical choir was established, the prototype of today’s «Honoured Collective of the Russian Federation».The Musicians' Choir was founded to perform in the imperial presence at receptions, official ceremonies, balls, plays and concerts at the Royal Court. The pinnacle of this type of activity was the participation of the choir in 1896 in the pageantry of Сoronation of Nicholas II. In 1897 the Court Choir became the Court Orchestra and its musicians were transferred from the military department and given the same rights as other actors of Imperial theatres. In the early 20th century the orchestra was entitled to perform at commercial concerts for the general public. The series of concerts "Orchestral Collections of Musical News" saw the first Russian performances of Richard Strauss’ symphonic poems "Ein Heldenleben" and "Also sprach Zarathustra", Mahler’s First Symphony, Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony and Scriabin’s "Poem of Ecstasy". The concerts included performances by one composer, a series of concerts by subscription, and a "historical series" accompanied by a lecture or an introductory address. Among the conductors were world-renowned musicians: Richard Strauss, Arthur Nikisch, Alexander Glazunov and Serge Koussevitsky.

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