GALINA ZHUKOVA (Piano)
The Philharmonic Society Of Saint Petersburg
Established in 1802
The Philharmonic Society of Saint Petersburg is the oldest public musical organization in Russia. The establishment of the Society, which was first called the Pay Office of Musicians' Widows, was marked by the first execution in Russia in March, 1802 of Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Creation for charity. In February, 1805 it was decided to call the Society 'Philharmonic' and to approve the Articles of Association and the stamp. The following were indicated as the Society's main objectives:
a) to arouse pubic interest in old and new classical music;
b) to provide support to widows and orphans of the actors who were full members in the Society.
During the 115 years of its existence, the Society has organized 204 concerts and has acquainted listeners with numerous works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, Glinka, Tchaikovsky and many other outstanding composers.
According to the founder and the editor of The Russian Musical Newspaper, N. Findeisen, the Society was 'The first musical society in Russia, which developed artistic taste in the public and accustomed it to complex and large works'.
In 1917, the Society ceased its activity. It managed to start again only 75 years later.
In 1992, the Philharmonic Society was revived by efforts of some notable public figures of Saint Petersburg, including the academician Dmitry Likhachov, the art director of the Saint Petersburg Academic Philharmonial Yuri Temirkanov, musicologist M.G. Bialik, the chairman of the Board of the Bank Saint Petersburg Y. Lvov, and the chairman of the Union of Composers of Saint Petersburg A.P. Petrov, who is the head of the revived Society.
The principle directions of the work of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Society is to organize and carry out symphonic, chamber, and choral concerts and various festivals and holidays, to publish books and manuals devoted to current issues concerning music, and also to support young musicians studying at musical schools in Saint Petersburg.
Since 1995, under the program 'Classics and the Future', which was started by the Philharmonic Society together with the Committee of Culture of Saint Petersburg and Bank Saint Petersburg, the Society annually establishes 15 grants which are paid monthly to the most talented young musicians (among them were the already well-known young musicians I. Gringolts, M. Kultyshev, E. Frolova, A. Korobkina, A. Dmitrieva, A. Grigoriev, S. Klimashevsky, and others).
During the 18 years of its new existence, the Society has organized more than 300 symphonic, choral, and chamber concerts, at which the compositions of more than a hundred Russian and foreign composers have been performed. The Society has also organized a variety of musical cycles and festivals. As of 2001, the Society began taking an active part in organizing and carrying out the festival of the Saint Petersburg Union of Composers 'Saint Petersburg Musical Spring', and since 2004, it has been carrying out the festival 'The Earth of Children'.
The most important events of the past years are a festival of Andrey Petrov's music 'The Creation Proceeds:' (2005), the All-Russia composer competition named after A.P. Petrov (2007 and 2008), the festival devoted to 205th anniversary of the Philharmonic Society of Saint Petersburg, a number of monographic cycles: 'All Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerts' (2004), 'All Liszt's Works for a Piano and Orchestra', 'All Mozart's Concerts for a Violin and Orchestra' (2005), 'All Beethoven's Sonatas for a Piano and Violin' (2006), a cycle of concerts in Vienna, Prague, and Bratislava entitled 'Saint Petersburg Seasons in European Capitals' (2006), a cycle of concerts for D. Shostakovich's 100th anniversary (2006), a cycle 'Three Centuries of a Piano Sonata' (2008 - 2009), a cycle 'Musical Anniversaries - 2008', a cycle 'Silver Light' (devoted to 200th anniversary of J. Haydn's death) (2009), a cycle 'David Goloshekin's Jazz Academies' (2009 - 2010), a cycle 'Life, Tears, and Love' (Sergey Rachmaninoff's chamber lyrics) (2009 - 2010).