Возврат на главную страницу Возврат на главную страницу Возврат на главную страницу Возврат на главную страницу Возврат на главную страницу
Entries / Glinka Capella

Glinka Capella

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Theaters, Concert Organizations

THE GLINKA CAPELLA (Leningrad Academic Glinka Capella), 20 Moika River Embankment, the oldest professional choir. It takes its origin in the Choir of Sovereign’s Chorister Scribes established in Moscow in 1479 for singing at church services and court ceremonies. During the reign of Peter the Great, it was reorganised into the court choir called Choristers of His Majesty’s Court or Sovereign’s Choristers in 1701, and moved to St. Petersburg in 1703. The choir accompanied the tsar while he was on campaign, being a part of the court clergy. During the reign of Elizaveta Petrovna, the number of choristers increased (in 1764 it had 72 members as opposed to 15 in 1711). The choir itself adopted the name of the Court Capella and adopted a new structure: from that time on it consisted of four male voices (two senior choir singers, tenors and basses, while trebles and altos were the junior choristers). In this guise, though with some modifications, The Court Choral Capella (as it was called from 1763) existed until 1920, when the choir was secularised and mixed. In 1918, it was renamed the People's Choral Academy, adopting the name of State Academic Capella from 1922; in 1954 the Glinka's name was attached to the institution. From 1730 up to the late 19th century the direction of the Capella exercised the system of supplementing the choir with choristers and choirboys from Malorossia (the official title of the Ukraine in Imperial documents). The children lived in the quarters attached to the Capella and studied Orthodox singing, Italian singing, sciences and languages. Beside participation in church services, the choristers performed at some secular ceremonies to music composed by Italian court bandmasters, and sang at Italian operas (performing both choral and solo works). Under Elizaveta Petrovna’s reign court church music was secularised. The style of singing and pieces composed for the Capella underwent some changes under the influence of Italian polyphony, while the choir began to take part in municipal concerts, Lenten oratorios etc. Gradually the Capella transformed into a universal group of performers. Its directors were M.F. Poltoratsky (1763-95), D.S. Bortnyansky (1796-1825), A.F. Lvov (1837-61), M.A. Balakirev (1883-94), A.S. Arensky (1895-1901), and S.V. Smolensky (1901-03). In 1837-39 the post of the conductor of the Capella was held by M.I. Glinka. The teaching staff comprised P.I. Turchaninov, G.Y. Lomakin, N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov (in 1883-94 assistant manager), and A.K. Lyadov. After 1917, the Capella was run by M.G. Klimov (1917-35), A.V. Sveshnikov (1937-41), A.I. Anisimov (1955-64), and V.A. Chernushenko since 1974. In the 19th century precentor and instrumental classes functioned as attached to the Capella, which were especially efficacious at the time of Rimsky-Korsakov, who organised a symphony orchestra of students in 1885. In 1922 the Choral Technical College was established, which developed into an independent educational institution as of 1955 (Glinka Choir School, 4 Masterskaya Street). The Capella possesses of the unique music library, which has been operating since the 18th century. Since the foundation of St. Petersburg, the choristers settled at Posadskaya Street, in 1741 they were allotted state quarters in the Old Winter Palace, later changed for those at Bolshaya Morskaya Street, Moika River Embankment, next to the Novy Bridge, in the house of Prince F. Baryatinsky. The building of the Capella was built in 1773-77 (architect Y.M. Velten), and rebuilt in 1810 (architect L. Ruska). In 1830-31, a concert hall was added to the building (architect L.I. Charlemagne). In 1886-89, the building was completely rebuilt by architect L.N. Benois. The Pevchesky Bridge runs over the Moika River to the gates of the Capella.

References: Государственная академическая капелла им. М. И. Глинки. Л., 1957; Чудинова И. А. Пение, звоны, ритуал: Топография церковно-муз. культуры Петербурга. СПб., 1994.

A. L. Porfiryeva.

Arensky Anton Stepanovich
Balakirev Mily Alexeevich
Baryatinsky F., Duke
Benois Leonty Nikolaevich
Bortnyansky Dmitry Stepanovich
Charlemagne Ludwig Iosifovich
Chernushenko Vladislav Alexandrovich
Felten Yury (Georg Friedrich) Matveevich
Glinka Mikhail Ivanovich
Klimov Mikhail Georgievich
Lomakin Gavriil Yakimovich (Ioakimovich)
Lvov Alexey Fedorovich
Lyadov Anatoly Konstantinovich
Peter I, Emperor
Poltoratsky Mark Fedorovich
Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolay Andreevich
Rusca Luigi (Aloisy Ivanovich)
Smolensky Stepan Vasilievich
Sveshnikov Alexander Vasilievich
Turchaninov Peter Ivanovich

Bolshaya Morskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city
Malaya Posadskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city
Masterskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 4
Moika River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city
Moika River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 20

Государственная академическая капелла им. М. И. Глинки. Л., 1957
Чудинова И. А. Пение, звоны, ритуал: Топография церков.-муз. культуры Петербурга. СПб., 1994

The subject Index
Glinka Capella
Pevchesky Bridge

Concert Halls (entry)

CONCERT HALLS appeared in St. Petersburg in the late 18th century. Earlier, musicians arranged paid concerts in palaces of grandees, theatres, and taverns. The first documented series of public concerts refers to the concerts given by G

Glinka Capella

THE GLINKA CAPELLA (Leningrad Academic Glinka Capella), 20 Moika River Embankment, the oldest professional choir. It takes its origin in the Choir of Sovereign’s Chorister Scribes established in Moscow in 1479 for singing at church services and


JAZZ. Instrumental groups, dance and concert jazz music on city stages, appeared in Leningrad in the late 1920s. On April 28, 1927 the hall of the Capella hosted the debut concert of L.Y. Teplitsky's First Concert Jazz-Band. A year later G.V

Mravinsky Е.А., (1903-1988), conductor

MRAVINSKY Evgeny Alexandrovich (1903 - 1988, Leningrad), conductor, people's artist of the USSR (1954) and Hero of Socialist Labour (1973). A student of the Second Gymnasium, Petersburg University, and Academic Chapel

Petersburg Musical Spring, festival

PETERSBURG MUSICAL SPRING (until 1991, the Leningrad Musical Spring), annual musical festival held since 1964, organised by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Composers Union

Philharmonic Society

PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY, a musical, educational and trustee society, organisation of St. Petersburg professional musicians. It was established in 1802 as a charitable organisation, called the Aid Fund of Musicians’ Widows

Sacred Music

SACRED MUSIC (church music) of the first half of the 18th century was developing in close connection with Moscow traditions. In 1703, the Sovereign Deacon Choir was moved from Moscow to St