Russian Classical Music: A National Force

The Moscow Conservatory, also known as the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, represents one of the most prominent music schools worldwide. Elite musicians, both Russian and foreign-born, rank among its graduates, many of whom have impacted both Western and Russian musical culture including musical greats such as the composers Rachmaninoff and Prokoviev. Built in the late nineteenth century, at the end of the imperial period, the Moscow Conservatory has not only served as a defining institution of Russian music but also represents the face of Russian nationalism. In fact, the sociopolitical history of the school is almost as rich as its cultural history indicative of its important place in the formation of "Russianess" as contributor to the Russian national identity.