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Performing Arts

Elysian Fields

Open-air concerts and festivals are an established part of summer cultural programmes in the US and Europe –Tanglewood in the US, Glyndebourne in the UK, Avignon in France. Now the fashion is catching on in Russia also. Whatever your taste in music and culture, there is something for everyone in and around Moscow. Lovers of “cool” will want to listen to Gabin at the Hermitage Garden; if you are into classical guitar or early music, then a summer night at Kuskovo is a must; Arkhangelskoe will swing with traditional jazz…

The venues themselves alone are worth the visit – for the architecture, the gardens and the view. Tickets are not expensive; there are cafes and restaurants, or you can take a picnic (everything that you need is on pages 12 and 13). It’s all about beautiful living.

Arkhangelskoe Estate Museum

Arkhangelskoe is situated some 16 kilometres from Moscow, and is the former seat of the Yusupovs, the richest family in pre-revolutionary Russia. The palace is famous for its theatre, its interiors and its collection of paintings. The third summer music festival will be held in June and July. The festival is called ‘Music in Arkhangelskoe: The Return of a Tradition.’ The title refers to the private concerts held at the palace during the time of the Yusupovs.

On June 11, 18, 25 and July 2, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra will perform a programme of classical works and popular musicals. Guest artists will include the singer Nikolai Baskov, and the American conductor Charles Ansbacher.

(095) 363 1375
For full details please visit

Hermitage Garden

There are all sorts of events going on at this central location throughout the summer, but the highlight is the Summer Party on 24 June. On this evening dedicated to electronic jazz (also acidjazz, lounge, soul and easy listening) Gabin will be the headlining group.

We love the sound of the other attractions, which include (we kid you not): an interactive performance, 10,000 daisies, ‘The First Flying Cow Show’ and a Fountain of Cold Fire.

(095) 299 0849, M. Pushkinskaya
For full details please visit

Kolomenskoe Museum Reserve

Kolomenskoe is located about 10 kilometres southeast of the Kremlin. The museum complex covers an area of some 390 hectares of ancient forest land, and includes the 16th century Church of the Ascension. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The summer concert programme is a new venture, and details will be posted on the website. Kolomenskoe is very popular with both Muscovites and visitors. The view from the hill over the Moscow River is a view that has been enjoyed by visitors for centuries. Details or no details, we think that the location is so beautiful that you can go on spec and just enjoy whatever is on that evening.

(095) 114 5384, M. Kolomenskoe

Kuskovo Estate Museum

Kuskovo used to be referred to as the Moscow Versailles because of its formal French gardens. Built for the Sheremetyev family, the estate was used as a summer residence and a site for receptions, celebrations and festivities until the 1917 Revolution. Catherine the Great stayed here, and there is a black obelisk in the park to celebrate her visit.

The summer festival season runs from May 26 to September 8. In keeping with the elegance and harmony of Kuskovo itself, the programme includes chamber music, the music of Vienna and early music. The invited list of artists and orchestras reads like a who’s who of the best of Russian music.

There are outdoor cafes, one of them by the pond. Visitors are allowed to picnic in the park.

Note: The museum is closed on Tuesdays and concert-goers need to know that on this day they will be let into the estate grounds only half an hour before the performance begins.

(095) 375 5252

Ostankino Estate Museum

Ostankino is famous for its theatre, built at the end of the 18th century, to the orders of Count N. Sheremetyev, the wealthy patron of the arts. Sheremetyev made Ostankino his summer residence and moved his private theatre troupe from Kuskovo. To this day the theatre hall is still used for chamber concerts and old operas.

The summer programme, however, takes place not inside the theatre, but in the park. The season opens on June 12th, and the music will be both classical and jazz.

Note: The park is closed in the evening, except for concert-goers, and picnicking is therefore not possible.

(095) 683 1602

© 2005 Jeremy Noble