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February 15, 2022, 11:01 am


E. Yanko. At the Gnessin Institute. 1980 From the fund of the artist Yevgeny Yanko. Main Archive of Moscow

The first children’s choir in Moscow appeared here, and famous composers and musicians were teachers.

On February 15, 1895, the first student entered one of the small private music schools in Moscow. This date can be called the birthday of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music.

You can learn about the path the educational institution has taken from the documents Главархива. Thus, the personal fund of Oleg Agarkov, professor at the Gnessin State Musical and Pedagogical Institute, head and conductor of the opera studio, is kept here. There are also photographs of graduates, posters of concerts and programs of performances in the concert hall of the institute. The funds contain dedicatory inscriptions by Elena Gnesina to musicologist Alexander Nikolaev and poet Lev Ozerov.

The founders of the music school, sisters Evgenia and Elena Gnesins, are graduates of the Moscow Conservatory, a student of its director, a major organizer and pianist teacher Vasily Safonov. They devoted their lives to pedagogy and management of an educational institution. Renowned composers and musicians were invited as teachers, including Reinhold Gliere, Alexander Grechaninov, Elena Beckman-Shcherbina and many others. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the founders, the popularity and reputation of the school constantly grew. One of the most important initiatives was the creation of the first children’s school choir in Moscow.

Elena Gnesina has been the head of the educational institution for 72 years. During this time, she not only preserved their common business with her sister, but was also able to expand it even during difficult historical events. In 1919, the school became a state school, but the principles of work and organization of the educational process remained the same. A year later, the structure of the educational institution changed: a children’s school and a technical school appeared with a single leadership. And in 1923, the brother of the founders, composer Mikhail Gnesin, created the Department of Composition and Music Theory.

The Gnessin School was one of the best, its graduates successfully entered the Moscow Conservatory. Elena Gnesina began to seek the creation of a new musical university on its basis.

Already in 1944, the State Musical and Pedagogical Institute named after the Gnessins was organized. Two years later, a special music school was opened under him. Thus, an educational complex was formed from an institute, a college, a special school and a children’s school. It was headed by Elena Gnesina. In 1948, correspondence and evening forms of education were opened for students. In the early years, graduates of the conservatory taught there, and then more and more pupils of the institute itself joined the teaching staff.

In the first years of the university’s work, students studied at eight departments of four faculties: piano, orchestral, vocal and historical-theoretical-composer. In 1946, the faculty of conducting and choir appeared, and two years later the faculty of folk instruments was founded. In the 1950s, the departments of opera training and chamber ensemble were opened, and in the 1960s, a number of new departments were opened, including orchestral conducting, pedagogy and methodology. In the 1970s–1980s, a department and department of solo folk singing, as well as departments of choral folk singing, pop music, and sound engineering appeared.

The Gnesins State Musical and Pedagogical Institute has always been ready to cooperate with numerous educational institutions: it conducted consultations, seminars and courses, supervised the work of several music schools. In 1992, the first university in the country received the status of an academy, and today it is the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music – the largest music and educational center in Russia.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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