The Imperial Russian Musical Society and the Formation of Russian Vocal Education

Keywords: Imperial Russian Musical Society (IRMS), vocal education, vocal art, musical classes, opera.


The article is devoted to the role of the
Imperial Russian Musical Society (IRMS) in
the process of formation of Russian vocal
education. As a result of the Society’s work,
the art of Russian singing became established
onto a sturdy systemic basis and acquired high
professional orientation directed at the time
of the Rubinstein brothers. Some of the results
of these activities became visible in the first
decade of the existence of the conservatories
in St. Petersburg and Moscow. However, they
revealed themselves especially distinctively
at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries,
when the general standard in academic singing
became quite high. Moreover, this pertained
not only to opera, but also to the chambersinging
genre, which found its confirmation
on an official governmental level. The archival
materials demonstrate that one of the most
crucial roles in this work belongs to the
Imperial Russian Musical Society. As the result
of its highly developed regional infrastructure
it made musical and, in particular, vocal
education accessible for the broadest strata
of the population. In the long run, this would
necessarily affect the formation of the national
school of performance, a gradual rise of the
overall level of professional singing culture,
which reached its peak at the turn of the
19th and 20th century. In such a context the
significance of the Imperial Russian Musical
Society in the act of formation of Russian vocal
education cannot be overestimated.

Russian Education in the Context of Culture