Odessa’s Philharmonic Theatre is one of the largest concert hall in Odessa, founded in 1937. Yearly theatre introduces to its listeners works of Ukrainian and international musical culture and scene.
The predecessor of the Philharmonic was the Odessa Philharmonic Society, created in 1842. There weren’t only musicians, but also famous city figures, writers, and military. The society conducted charity concerts and provided material support to promising artists. In the 1940s, the Wieniawski brothers performed here, and the great composer, pianist, and conductor Ferenc Liszt gave six great concerts here. Since 1925 symphonic music concerts began to be held at the Odessa Philharmonic Society. In 1929, the Philharmonic Society was created.
Odessa Philharmonic was established in 1931. In the same year, the Odessa Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra was officially created. Its conductor was the professor at the Odessa Conservatory Leonid Mogilevsky – the first of the famous dynasty of Odessa musicians – the grandfather of Eugene Mogilevsky. Such masters as A. Glazunov, A. Gauk, K. Ivanov, K. Zanderling, N. Rakhlin, Y. Simonov, S. Sondeckis, Y. Temirkanov, E. Svetlanov stood behind the conductor’s console of the Philharmonic Orchestra. With the orchestra, V. Horowitz, E. Gilels, D. Oistrakh, M. Rostropovich, L. Kogan performed here.
The Philharmonic is located in the historical center of Odessa. Since 1946, it has been located in one of the most beautiful buildings – the former New Merchant Exchange, that was built in 1899 by architect V.I. Prohaski, redesigned by the architect A.Bernardazzi in Italian Gothic style. The wooden ceiling of the hall is made without a single nail of Lebanese cedar, gilded and painted. The walls of the hall are decorated with 6 panels of the St. Petersburg artist N. Karazin. The concert hall with 1000 seats in terms of beauty and acoustic features is one of the best in Europe.
The philharmonic theatre created the talent of wonderful artists, pop stars such as N. Gnatyuk, V. Ilchenko, R. Kartsev, the comedy group “Maski-shows” of G. Deliev, L. Dolina, T. Boyeva, L. Milyavskaya, A. Tsekalo, I. Noyabrev, and many others. Within the walls of the Odessa Philharmonic, an outstanding satirist, performer of his own monologues Mikhail Zhvanetsky began his career.
Odessa’s Philharmonic Theatre plays an exceptional role in the artistic life of our region. The Philharmonic Theatre organizes performers tours, participates in prestigious international music festivals and competitions: “Two days and two nights of new music”, “Odesa Dialogues”, “Odesa Guitar Autumn”, “White Acacia”, “Danube Spring”, “Richterfest”, “Days of David Oistrakh in Odesa”, International Piano Competition of E. Gilels; International Violin Competition of D. Oistrakh and others.
Today, there a lot of great musicians and groups performed at the Odesa’s Philharmonic Theatre: artists of the Odesa Regional Philharmonic, the Odesa National Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Honored Artist of Ukraine Hobart Earle. As well as world-famous groups: the State Chamber Orchestra of Russia “Moscow Virtuosos” under the direction of the People’s Artist of the USSR V. Spivakov, State Chamber Orchestra of Russia “Moscow” led by People’s Artist of Russia E. Grach, National Orchestra of Folk Instruments of Ukraine led by People’s Artist of the Ukraine V.Gutsala. There also performed singers of the world music scene: N. Petrov, M. Pletnev, D. Matsuev, D. Bashkirov, B. Kotorovich, B. Blokh, V. Krainev, V. Tretyakov, M. Fedotov, G. Murzh, P. Burchuladze, and others…
The creative staff of the Philharmonic theater is multifaceted and various. Performers of many artistic roles work here – singers, accompanists, colloquial artists, chamber orchestra and chamber band artists, lecturers of musicology. This allows for creating original projects and interesting music and educational performances. The enlightenment of the younger generation takes a particular place in the theater. For this purpose, music subscriptions and concerts on Sundays for children are organized here. A large number of concerts are held in towns and villages of the Odessa region and beyond it.
Yearly, philharmonic artists prepare new programs with high aesthetic and cultural meaning: the literary evenings, piano concerts, symphonic music concerts, folklore programs, and pop concerts. Thanks to the regularly refreshed repertory, the audience of the theater has the opportunity to discover for them self classic and modern music, which reflect the spirit, rhythm, and sense of our time.
The Philharmonic is the main concert hall of the city. The keeping and development of the best traditions of musical culture – this is its Great Mission.