Museums of Music History St Petersburg


Behind ornately constructed fences, not far from the bustle of Nevsky Prospekt, lies a splendid palace and its magnificent courtyard. The palace, which is commonly known as the Fountain House. The palace is the former estate of Count Sheremetyev, and it is one of the few mansions in St. Petersburg to have remained the property of a single family until the time of the revolution. Five generations of Sheremetyevs resided within the Fountain House and its history dates back to the early 18th century. In 1712, Field Marshal Boris Sheremetyev, who was regarded as the hero of Poltava, was rewarded for his accomplishments when Peter 1st presented Boris with the plot of land on which the palace would be built. In 1750, Peter Sheremetyev (the son of the hero of Poltava), resided on the premises following the construction of a new sumptuous palace. The visitors to the palace included Catherine the Great, and her son Emperor Paul I. The serf actress Praskovya Zhemchugova was also a guest when she was brought to the Fountain House by the estate's third owner, Count Nikolay Sheremetyev.

In the first 200 years of its existence the Sheremetyev Palace witnessed a great deal of change. During Soviet times the palace housed two museums before finally being designated as The Institute of the Arctic and Antarctic. Since 1997 the palace's gallery wing has housed St. Petersburg's extensive collection of musical instruments. The origin of the collection dates back to the 1880s when it was started by the Head of the Court Orchestra, Baron Stakelberg. Today the collection contains over 3000 pieces. A set of horns that formed a single orchestra (a peculiar Russian cultural phenomenon) are of particular interest to visitors. The display also features more than 400 flutes (including some from Alexander 1st's collection), Amati and Stradivarius violins, a spinet from 1532, instruments once owned by Glinka, Tchaikovsky, and Anton Rubinstein and other rare items.   

Open: 12 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed on Monday, Tuesday, and on the last Wednesday of every month. 34 Fontanka River Emb..


The Museum of Theatre and Music was established in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) in 1918. Today the museum collection consists of portraits and documents from the Alexandra Theatre. The collection is based around the history of Russian and Western European Theatres during the 18th and 19th centuries. There are over 400,000 unique exhibits within the halls of this museum.

Open: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. WED: 13 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Closed on Tuesday 6, Ostrovskogo Sq.


The Museum of Musical Instruments was founded in 1902 and now holds one of the world's largest collections of musical instruments. The collections include several instruments formerly owned by famous musicians and masters of music.
Open: 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Monday and Tuesday
5, Isaakievskaya Sq..


This museum is located in the house which was formerly inhabited by the famous Russian opera singer F.I.Shalyapin. Shalyapin lived in this particular residence from 1914-1921. The museum was opened, after extensive restorations. Today, the exhibition consists of personal items, documents, photographs, theatrical costumes, and scenery sketches pertaining to the singer's life.

Open: 12 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed on Monday and Tuesday and on the last Friday of every month. 2, Graftio Str.


The Apartment Museum of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov is the only museum in St. Petersburg dedicated to a composer. The apartment, in which the museum is located, was the former residence of the great composer during the last 15 years of his life (1893- 1908). The exhibition consists of four rooms which have been preserved to match their appearance during the time that Rimsky- Korsakov inhabited them. The rooms which have been restored to their original form are the composer's study, the parlour, dining room, and hall. In addition to the exhibition concerts are also held here on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday - check ahead to see if this is till correct!

Open: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays as well as the last Friday of every month.  28,  Zagorodnyy Prosp.