ZARYADYE HALL - CONSERVATORY - TCHAIKOVSKY HALL - HOUSE OF MUSIC - CATHEDRAL OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
If you are a music connoisseur, or just want to add a cultural touch to your evening out or maybe introduce your kids (6+) to classical music like Russians do, you should consider these venues.
1. Zaryadye Hall
Varvarka, 6 bld 4
This is the newest classical music venue in Moscow, opened in 2018 in Zaryadye Park. Its interior is light and bright, modern and elegant. The hall boasts great acoustics and it is smartly shaped in a way that you can enjoy great views on the stage from any seat. It is more visited by young people than Philharmonia, on my observation. Also (I do not know if it is an advantage...) the concerts here are shorter. 30-45 minutes before the intermission, and the same time after, unlike a usual hour or more for Philharmonia. Good for those with a short attention span! At least, this was my experience.
After the concert you can stroll through Zaryadye park enjoying the views of the lit-up Kremlin and the multiple churches along Varvarka. Voskhod restaurant in the same park is a good option for dinner.
2. Moscow Conservatory / Philharmonia
Bolshaya Nikitskaya, 13
Metro Arbatskaya, Biblioteka im. Lenina
When Conservatory in Moscow had just opened in 1860, the classes took place... in the professor's apartment. At some point up to 200 students attended them. In 1878 Conservatory bought this house on Bolshaya Nikitskaya. It had been constructed a century before for Ekaterina Dashkova - the first female member of Academy of Science and the inventor of the letter "ё".
One of the first teachers in the Conservatory was Pyotr Tchaikovsky. He bitterly complaint that his job took too much time he could use for composing. Despite this, his statue stands in front of it.
The building's Great Hall is shared between two independent organizations. Something is going on this stage almost every night, but the event can be organized either by the Conservatory, or by Philharmonia. So, check both of their websites to see the upcoming concerts.
Conservatory also has Chamber, Rachmaninov, and Myaskovsky Halls (the last one is very small, more like a class room) where students' concerts are often held. They are inexpensive and are actually very good.
Open Yandex.Map app, zoom in the building 13 on Bolshaya Nikitskaya and it will show you entrances to all four halls.
* There are two Rachmaninov's Halls and two Chamber Halls (it is only now I have realized how confusing it may be!).
Conservatory's Rachmaninov and Chamber halls are in the same building with the Great Hall is (on Bolshaya Nikitskaya).
Philarmonia has its branch in the South-West of Moscow (Michurinsky avenue) and it is named after Rachmanonov, too (sometimes it is called Philharmonia-2). So, if you see Rachnmaninov's Halls concert listed on Meloman.ru, it on Michurinsky avenue. And a ticket to the Chamber Hall bought the same website will lead you to come to Triumfalnaya square, 4. Check the address before going!
2. Tchaikovsky Hall
Triumfalnaya square, 4
This building also harbors the entrance to Mayakovskaya station, which makes Tchaikovsky a music hall within the shortest walk from the metro - literally 10 steps.
The hall was opened in 1940. Its construction started in 1933 as a new, innovative stage for the Theater of Vsevolod Meyerhold - the most avant-garde and unusual theater director of the time. We talk about Meyerhold during "A Hundred Pianos District" tour. However, in 1939 Meyerhold was arrested and his theater's unfinished building was passed to Philharmonia instead. It opened next year, half a year after Meyerhold had been executed.
Its huge stage can accommodate even large dancing troops like Moiseev Dance Company. They perform here each season. In average 300 different concerts are held in Tchaikovsky each year. See the schedule at www.meloman.ru.
Tchaikovsky Cafe in the same building is the most obvious choice for a dinner same evening.
4. International House of Music
Kosmodamianskaya embankment, 52 bld 8.
This concert hall was built in 2002 and it is a great example of "Luzhkov style" - pretentious architecture of 2000ss - the time of Yuri Luzhkov as a mayor of Moscow. House of Music got nicknamed "a pot". Inside however it is very nice - 10 floors with elevators and glass walls with great views, an underground parking and good acoustics and visibility from an any seat. The program is extensive and includes national and foreign symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, opera singers, jazz bands, musicals, etc.
To add a luxury touch to your evening have a drink in City Space Bar & Restaurant on a top floor of a neighboring Swissotel Krasnye Holmy.
5. Cathedral of Immaculate Conception
Malaya Gruzinskaya, 27
Metro Barrikadnaya, Ulitsa 1905 Goda
The main Catholic church of Moscow may be a less obvious option for a night out, but concerts regularly take place here. The atmosphere and acoustics are incomparable to anything else. At each concert an organ is playing and its sound reaches every corner of the hall. It is convenient about an organ that you do not need to worry about visibility - the performer is behind the instrument anyway. Usually the organ does not plays solo, but along with other instruments - saxophone, flute, or vocal music.
Be prepared to sit on a hard wooden bench. It is a church!