Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia (Assembly of the Nobility)

This elegant neoclassical building was erected as part of Carlo Rossi's enormous project to redevelop the square in front of the Mikhailovsky Palace and the streets leading to it. Rossi himself designed the two identical facades, one facing Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa, the other Ploshchad Iskusstv (Arts Square), while the rest of the building and its beautiful interiors were the work of French architect Paul Jacquot.

St. Petersburg Philharmonic in St Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg Philharmonic

Built 1834-1839, the building originally housed the St. Petersburg Assembly of the Nobility, an organization of local administration that, after the Emancipation Reforms of 1861, became more like a society club, organizing charitable events including concerts and balls. Jacquot's Grand Tricolor Hall (now the Grand Hall of the Philharmonia) was designed specifically for these purposes and is renowned for its excellent acoustics.

In the second half of the 19th century, the building established itself as a centre of musical culture in St. Petersburg, and attracted some of the greatest musicians of the age, including Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner, and Gustav Mahler.

Interiors of St. Petersburg Philharmonic in St Petersburg, Russia
Interiors of St. Petersburg Philharmonic

The Assembly of the Nobility was disbanded in 1917, and the building became the permanent home of the Petrograd/Leningrad/St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 1921. Founded in 1882 as the Imperial Music Choir, it is the oldest symphony orchestra in Russia, and has a solid reputation at home and abroad. The building and orchestra are particularly closely linked to Dmitry Shostakovich, whose 1st Symphony was premiered here in 1926, and who continued to perform and premier works here throughout the 1920s and 1930s. When the building was renamed again, along with the orchestra, after the fall of the Soviet Union, it was seen as an opportunity to honour the great composer.

Address:2, Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa / 9, Italyanskaya Ulitsa
Metro:Nevsky Prospekt
Getting there:Exit Nevsky Prospekt metro station following signs for Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa (right at the far end of the underpass), and the Philharmonia is on your right about 50m along the street.
What's nearby? Mikhailovskiy Palace (State Russian Museum), Nevsky Prospekt, Jacquot House, Ploshchad Iskusstv, Mikhailovsky Theatre, Grand Hotel Europe