From ballet to opera to pop:
10 music venues to check out in Russia
From Tchaikovsky to t.A.T.u, Russia has a long and illustrious musical history, with many well-loved classical composers and contemporary pop and rock acts hailing from Russia. Given such a rich history, any visit to Russia has to involve a visit (or maybe more) to some of its many music venues, to take in the sights, the sounds and perhaps even a concert.
1. Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow
The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall is one of Moscow’s best-loved concert venues. Not unsurprisingly, the Concert Hall is home to the Moscow Academic Philharmonic, which is known for its performances of the works of legendary Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, but the venue also hosts jazz and folk concerts, and is one of the most beautiful concert venues in the country.
2. Crocus City Hall, Moscow
One of Russia’s newest music venues, the state of the art Crocus City Hall in Moscow hosts everything from international touring rock musicians to all-night raves and boxing matches. The venue has been host to stars such as Elton John and Seal in recent years, and was also the venue for the 2018 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. Any visit to Moscow can be improved by a night at Crocus City Hall.
3. Festivalny Concert Hall, Sochi
Located on the waterfront in the centre of the resort city of Sochi (a former host city for the Winter Olympics), the Festivalny Concert Hall is one of Russia’s largest and most imposing venues. It hosts a variety of musical events, from classical concerts to performances by Russian pop superstars.
4. Saint Petersburg Music Hall, Saint Petersburg
The Saint Petersburg Music Hall is a historic building. First built in the 1880s, it was originally an opera house, but is now home to not only opera, but musical theatre performances, from Mary Poppins to The Great Gatsby. The Saint Petersburg Music Hall is also the venue to host the annual Saint Petersburg International Festival, a huge event which aims to showcase ‘Opera for Everyone’. The venue is also dedicated to supporting local young musicians, and hosts workshops and classes for aspiring talent.
5. Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
The Bolshoi Theatre is home to the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, one of the oldest and most prestigious ballet companies in the world. The Theatre was originally built in 1821 to house the ballet company, and has been rebuilt and renovated several times over the course of its illustrious history. Since the latest renovation in 2012, it has opened its doors once more to ballet lovers. The theatre’s orchestra is world-renowned in its own right, and often tours to bring the magic of the Bolshoi to the rest of the world.
6. Rostov State Musical Theatre, Rostov
The Rostov State Musical Theatre sits on the site of a previous comedy theatre from the early 20th century, which was replaced with the current building and took several decades to complete. The Rostov State Musical Theatre is one of the largest cultural centres in Southern Russia, with over 300 musical performances each year.
7. Mikhailovsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg
The Mikhailovsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg is one of the oldest concert venues in Russia, first opening in 1833, by decree of Tsar Nicholas I. The Theatre is one of the busiest venues in the country and is the best venue for ballet and opera alike in Saint Petersburg. It also boasts a beautiful museum which tells the story of the theatre during its long history.
8. Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, Novosibirsk
The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre is an integral part of the city’s cultural history. It first opened in 1945, and since its renovation in 2005, it has become the biggest music venue in Russia. It is a beautiful building, and often referred to as ‘The Siberian Coliseum’ because of its stunning architecture.
9. Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg
Although its name has changed several times throughout Russian history, the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg remains one of the oldest and grandest music venues in the country. It first opened its doors to the public in 1860, and has entertained audiences ever since. It is the primary opera house in Saint Petersburg, with its shows often touring to other world-class venues such as the Royal Opera House in London, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
10. Moscow International House of Music, Moscow
The Moscow International House of Music is one of the biggest concert venues in Russia. The venue first opened in 2002, and was lauded as the first purpose-built ‘performing arts centre’ in Russia. The venue, which boasts several concert halls, hosts international-renowned artists all year round, and is home to the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra; the Moscow Virtuosi State Chamber Orchestra; and the Russian Philharmonic Moscow Symphony Orchestra, which make it the perfect place to listen to a classical concert during a visit to Moscow.
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