Mstislav Leopoldovich "Slava" Rostropovich was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He is considered to be one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century. In addition to his interpretations and technique, he was well known for both inspiring and commissioning new works, which enlarged the cello repertoire more than any cellist before or since, he inspired and premiered over 100 pieces, forming long-standing friendships and artistic partnerships with composers including Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutosławski, Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Norbert Moret, Andreas Makris, Leonard Bernstein and Benjamin Britten. Rostropovich was internationally recognized as a staunch advocate of human rights, was awarded the 1974 Award of the International League of Human Rights, he was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya and had two daughters and Elena Rostropovich. Mstislav Rostropovich was born in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, to parents who had moved from Orenburg: Leopold Vitoldovich Rostropovich, a renowned cellist and former student of Pablo Casals, Sofiya Nikolaevna Fedotova-Rostropovich, a talented pianist.
Mstislav's father was born in Voronezh to Witold Rostropowicz, a composer of Polish noble descent, Matilda Rostropovich, née Pule. The Polish part of his family bore the Bogoria coat of arms, located at the family palace in Skotniki. Mstislav's mother Sofiya and her elder sister Nadezhda were the daughters of the founder of the Fedotov Music School in Orienburg, Nikolay Fedotov. Nadezhda married the cellist Semyon Kozolupov, thus Rostropovich's uncle by marriage. Rostropovich spent his youth there. During World War II his family moved back to Orenburg and in 1943 to Moscow. At the age of four, Rostropovich learned the piano with his mother, he began the cello at the age of 10 with his father. In 1943, at the age of 16, he entered the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied cello with his uncle Semyon Kozolupov, piano and composition with Vissarion Shebalin, his teachers included Dmitri Shostakovich. In 1945 he came to prominence as a cellist when he won the gold medal in the Soviet Union's first competition for young musicians.
He graduated from the Conservatory in 1948, became professor of cello there in 1956. Rostropovich gave his first cello concert in 1942, he won first prize at the international Music Awards of Prague and Budapest in 1947, 1949 and 1950. In 1950, at the age of 23 he was awarded what was considered the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, the Stalin Prize. At that time, Rostropovich was well known in his country and while pursuing his solo career, he taught at the Leningrad Conservatory and the Moscow Conservatory. In 1955, he married a leading soprano at the Bolshoi Theatre. Rostropovich had working relationships with Soviet composers of the era. In 1949 Sergei Prokofiev wrote his Cello Sonata in C, Op. 119, for the 22-year-old Rostropovich, who gave the first performance in 1950, with Sviatoslav Richter. Prokofiev dedicated his Symphony-Concerto to him. Rostropovich and Dmitry Kabalevsky completed Prokofiev's Cello Concertino after the composer's death. Dmitri Shostakovich wrote both his first and second cello concertos for Rostropovich, who gave their first performances.
His international career started in 1963 in 1964 in West Germany. Rostropovich went on several tours in Western Europe and met several composers, including Benjamin Britten, who dedicated his Cello Sonata, three Solo Suites, his Cello Symphony to Rostropovich. Rostropovich gave their first performances, the two had an special affinity – Rostropovich's family described him as "always smiling" when discussing "Ben", on his death bed he was said to have expressed no fear as he and Britten would, he believed, be reunited in Heaven. Britten was renowned as a piano accompanist and together they recorded, among other works, Schubert's Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano in A minor, his daughter claimed that this recording moved her father to tears of joy on his deathbed. Rostropovich had long-standing artistic partnership with Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Luciano Berio as well as Olivier Messiaen. Rostropovich took private lessons in conducting with Leo Ginzburg, first conducted in public in Gorky in November 1962, performing the four entractes from Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District and Shostakovich's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death with Vishnevskaya singing.
In 1967, at the invitation of the Bolshoi Theatre's director Mikhail Chulaki, he conducted Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin at the Bolshoi, thus letting forth his passion for both the role of conductor and the opera. Rostropovich played at The Proms on the night of 21 August 1968, he played with the Soviet State Symphony Orchestra – it was the orchestra's debut performance at the Proms. The programme featured Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B minor and took place on the same day that Russia invaded Czechoslovakia to end Alexander D
Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was a Soviet pianist of Russian-German origin, regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. He is known for the "depth of his interpretations, his virtuoso technique, his vast repertoire." Richter was born in Zhytomyr, Volhynian Governorate of the Russian Empire, a native town of his parents. His father, Teofil Danilovich Richter, was a pianist and composer born to German expatriates, his mother, Anna Pavlovna Richter, came from a noble Russian landowning family, at one point she studied under her future husband. In 1918, when Richter's parents were in Odessa, the Civil War separated them from their son, Richter moved in with his aunt Tamara, he lived with her from 1918 to 1921, it was that his interest in art first manifested itself: he first became interested in painting, which his aunt taught him. In 1921 the family was reunited, the Richters moved to Odessa, where Teofil taught at the Odessa Conservatory and worked as organist of a Lutheran church.
In early 1920s Richter started studying piano. Unusually, he was self-taught, his father only gave him a basic education in music, so did one of his father's pupils, a Czech harpist. At an early age, Richter was an excellent sight-reader and practised with local opera and ballet companies, he developed a lifelong passion for opera and chamber music that found its full expression in the festivals he established in La Grange de Meslay, in Moscow, at the Pushkin Museum. At age 15, he started to work at the Odessa Opera. On March 19, 1934, Richter gave his first recital, at the Engineers' Club of Odessa. During Richter's audition for Neuhaus, Neuhaus whispered to a fellow student, "This man's a genius". Although Neuhaus taught many great pianists, including Emil Gilels and Radu Lupu, it is said that he considered Richter to be "the genius pupil, for whom he had been waiting all his life," while acknowledging that he taught Richter "almost nothing." Early in his career, Richter tried his hand at composing, it appears that he played some of his compositions during his audition for Neuhaus.
He gave up composition shortly after moving to Moscow. Years Richter explained this decision as follows: "Perhaps the best way I can put it is that I see no point in adding to all the bad music in the world". By the beginning of World War II, Richter's parents' marriage had failed and his mother had fallen in love with another man; because Richter's father was a German, he was under suspicion by the authorities and a plan was made for the family to flee the country. Due to her romantic involvement, his mother did not want to leave and so they remained in Odessa. In August 1941 his father was arrested and found guilty of espionage, being sentenced to death on 6 October 1941. Richter didn't speak to his mother again until shortly before her death nearly 20 years in connection with his first US tour. In 1943 Richter met an operatic soprano, he noticed Dorliak during the memorial service for Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, caught up with her at the street and suggested to accompany her in recital. In 1945 they remained companions until Richter's death.
They had no children. Dorliak accompanied Richter both in his complex career, she supported him in his last sickness, died herself a few months on May 17, 1998. It was rumored that Richter was homosexual and that having a female companion provided a social front for his sexual orientation, because homosexuality was still seen as taboo and could result in legal repercussions. Richter was not open to interviews, he never publicly discussed his personal life until, in the last year of his life, filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon convinced him to be interviewed for a documentary. In 1949 Richter won the Stalin Prize, which led to extensive concert tours in Russia, Eastern Europe and China, he gave his first concerts outside the Soviet Union in Czechoslovakia in 1950. In 1952, Richter was invited to play Franz Liszt in a film based on the life of Mikhail Glinka, called The Composer Glinka; the title role was played by Boris Smirnov. On February 18, 1952, Richter made his sole appearance as a conductor in the world premiere of Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor, with Mstislav Rostropovich as the soloist.
In 1960 though he had a reputation for being "indifferent" to politics, Richter defied the authorities when he performed at Boris Pasternak's funeral. Having received the Stalin and Lenin prizes and become People's Artist of the RSFSR, he gave his first tour concerts in the USA in 1960, in England and France in 1961. In 1948, Richter and Dorliac gave recitals in Bucharest, Romania in 1950 performed in Prague and Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. In 1954, Richter gave recitals in Hungary. In 1956, he again toured Czechoslovakia in 1957, he toured China again performed in Prague and Warsaw. In 1958, Richter recorded Prokofiev's 5th Piano Concert
The Vienna Philharmonic, founded in 1842, is an orchestra considered to be one of the finest in the world. The Vienna Philharmonic is based at the Musikverein in Austria, its members are selected from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. Selection involves a lengthy process, with each musician demonstrating his or her capability for a minimum of three years' performance for the opera and ballet. After this probationary period, the musician may request an application for a position in the orchestra from the Vienna Philharmonic's board; until the 1830s, orchestral performance in Vienna was done by ad hoc orchestras, consisting of professional and amateur musicians brought together for specific performances. In 1833, Franz Lachner formed the forerunner of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Künstlerverein – an orchestra of professional musicians from the Vienna Court Opera; the Vienna Philharmonic itself arose nine years in 1842, hatched by a group who met at the inn'Zum Amor', including the poet Nikolaus Lenau, newspaper editor August Schmidt, critic Alfred Becker, violinist Karlz Holz, Count Laurecin, composer Otto Nicolai, the principal conductor of a standing orchestra at a Viennese theater.
Mosco Carner wrote in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians that "Nicolai was the least enthusiastic about the idea, had to be persuaded by the others. The orchestra was independent, consisted of members of the Hofoper orchestra, made all of its decisions by a democratic vote of its members. Nicolai and the orchestra gave only 11 concerts in the ensuing five years, when Nicolai left Vienna in 1847, the orchestra nearly folded. Between 1854 and 1857, Karl Eckert – the first permanent conductor of the Vienna Court Opera – led the Vienna Philharmonic in a few concerts. In 1857, Eckert was made Director of the Hofoper – the first musician to have been given the post. Since that time, writes Vienna Philharmonic violinist and president Clemens Hellsberg, "the'Philharmonic Concerts' have been staged without interruption." In 1860, the orchestra elected Otto Dessoff to be the permanent conductor. According to Max Kalbeck, the Vienna-based music critic, newspaper editor, biographer, the fame and excellence of the Vienna Philharmonic resulted from Dessoff's "energy and sense of purpose."
Clemens Hellsberg gives specifics, writing that during the Dessoff years, the Vienna Philharmonic's "repertoire was enlarged, important organizational principles were introduced and the orchestra moved to its third new home, the newly built Goldener Saal in the Musikverein building in Vienna, which has proved to be the ideal venue, with its acoustical characteristics influencing the orchestra's style and sound." After fifteen years, in 1875, Dessoff was "pushed out of his position in Vienna through intrigue", he left Vienna to become conductor of the Badische Staatskapelle in Karlsruhe, Germany. In Karlsruhe the next year, he fulfilled the request of his friend Johannes Brahms to conduct the first performance of his Symphony no. 1. In 1875, the orchestra chose Hans Richter to take Dessoff's place as subscription conductor, he remained until 1898, except for the season 1882/1883, when he was in dispute with the orchestral committee. Richter led the VPO in the world premieres of Brahms's Second Symphony, Tragic Overture, Symphony no.
3, the Violin Concerto of Tchaikovsky, in 1892 the 8th symphony of Anton Bruckner. It was Richter who in 1881 appointed Arnold Rosé as concertmaster, to become Gustav Mahler's brother-in-law and was concertmaster until the Anschluss in 1938. In order to be eligible for a pension, Richter intended to remain in his position for 25 years, he might have done so, given that the orchestra unanimously re-elected him in May 1898, but he resigned on 22 September, citing health reasons, although biographer Christopher Fifield argues that the real reasons were that he wanted to tour, that "he was uneasy as claques in the audience formed in favour of Gustav Mahler". Richter recommended Ferdinand Löwe to the orchestra as his replacement. In 1898, on 24 September, the orchestra elected Gustav Mahler. Under Mahler's baton, the Vienna Philharmonic played abroad for the first time at the 1900 Paris World Exposition. While Mahler had strong supporters in the orchestra, he faced dissension from other orchestral members, criticism of his re-touchings of Beethoven, arguments with the orchestra and over new policies he imposed.
He resigned on 1 April 1901, citing health concerns as a
David Fyodorovich Oistrakh, PAU, was a renowned Soviet classical violinist and violist. Oistrakh collaborated with major orchestras and musicians from many parts of the world, including the Soviet Union and the United States, was the dedicatee of numerous violin works, including both of Dmitri Shostakovich's violin concerti, the violin concerto by Aram Khachaturian, he is considered one of the preeminent violinists of the 20th century. He was born in the cosmopolitan city of Ukraine into a Jewish family, his father was David Kolker and his mother was Isabella Beyle, who on married Fishl Oistrakh. At the age of five, young Oistrakh began his studies of violin and viola as a pupil of Pyotr Stolyarsky. In his studies with Stolyarsky he became good friends with Iosif Brodsky, Nathan Milstein and other great violinists with whom he collaborated numerous times after achieving fame since their beginnings as fellow students at Stolyarsky School. In 1914, at the age of six, Oistrakh performed his debut concert.
He entered the Odessa Conservatory in 1923, where he studied until his graduation in 1926. In the Conservatory he studied harmony with composer Mykola Vilinsky, his 1926 graduation concert consisted of Bach's Chaconne, Tartini's Devil's Trill Sonata, Rubinstein's Viola Sonata, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major. In 1927, Oistrakh appeared as soloist playing the Glazunov Violin Concerto under the composer's own baton in Kiev, Ukraine — a concert which earned him an invitation to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in Leningrad with the Philharmonic Orchestra under Nikolai Malko the following year. In 1927, Oistrakh relocated to Moscow, where he gave his first recital and met his future wife: pianist Tamara Rotareva, they were married a year and had one child, Igor Oistrakh, born in 1931. Igor Oistrakh would follow his father's path as a violinist, performed and recorded side-by-side with his father, including Bach's Double Concerto, which they first recorded in 1951, Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante.
In at least one of the recordings of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, Igor Oistrakh played violin, while David Oistrakh played viola. From 1934 onwards, David Oistrakh held a position teaching at the Moscow Conservatory, was made professor in 1939; some of his colleagues while teaching at the Moscow Conservatory included Yuri Yankelevich and Boris Goldstein. Oistrakh taught Oleg Kagan, Emmy Verhey, Oleh Krysa, Gidon Kremer, Yulia Brodskaya, Zoya Petrosyan, Victor Danchenko, Victor Pikaizen, Cyrus Forough, Olga Parhomenko, his son Igor Oistrakh. In the 1950s, David Oistrakh invited Yulia Brodskaya to be his assistant in teaching solo and chamber music and Rosa Fine as his assistant for solo students. From 1940 to 1963, Oistrakh performed extensively in a trio that included the cellist Sviatoslav Knushevitsky and the pianist Lev Oborin, it was sometimes called the'Oistrakh Trio.' Oistrakh collaborated extensively with Oborin, as well as a French violinist. During World War II, he was active in the Soviet Union, premiering new concerti by Nikolai Miaskovsky and Khachaturian as well as two sonatas by his friend Sergei Prokofiev.
He was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1942. The final years of the war saw the blossoming of a friendship with Shostakovich, which would lead to the two violin concertos and the sonata, all of which were to be premiered by and become associated with Oistrakh in the following years. Oistrakh's career was set from this point, although the Soviet Union was "protective" of its people and refused to let him perform abroad, he continued to teach in the Moscow Conservatory, but when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, he went to the front lines, playing for soldiers and factory workers under intensely difficult conditions. Arguably one of the most heroic acts in his life was a performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto to the end in the central music hall during the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942 while central Stalingrad was being massively bombed by the German forces. However, other sources indicate. Whether Oistrakh performed in Stalingrad is unconfirmed. Oistrakh was allowed to travel after the end of the war.
He traveled to the countries in the Soviet bloc and to the West. His first foreign engagement was to appear at the newly founded "Prague Spring" Festival where he was met with enormous success. In 1949 he gave his first concert in the West – in Helsinki. In 1951, he appeared at the "Maggio Musicale" Festival in Florence, in 1952 he was in East Germany for the Beethoven celebrations, France in 1953, Britain in 1954, in 1955, he was allowed to tour the United States. By 1959, he was beginning to establish a second career as a conductor, in 1960 he was awarded the coveted Lenin Prize, his Moscow conducting debut followed in 1962, by 1967 he had established a partnership with the celebrated Soviet pianist Sviatoslav Richter. 1968 saw wide celebrations for the violinist's sixtieth birthday, which included a celebratory performance in the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory of the Tchaikovsky concerto, one of his favourite works, under the baton of Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Oistrakh was now seen as one of the great violinists of his time, among such luminaries as Romania's George Enescu and Lithuanian-born Jascha Heifetz.
Oistrakh suffered a heart attack as early as 1964. He continued to work at a furious pace, he had become one of the principal cultural ambassadors for the Soviet Union to the West in live concerts and recordings. After conducting a cycle of Brahms with the Concertgebouw Orchestra
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor of the late Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the Romantic repertoire. Born into a musical family, Rachmaninoff took up the piano at age four, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 having composed several piano and orchestral pieces. In 1897, following the negative critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. For the next sixteen years, Rachmaninoff conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, relocated to Dresden and toured the United States for the first time. Following the Russian Revolution and his family left Russia. With his main source of income coming from piano and conducting performances, demanding tour schedules led to a reduction in his time for composition. 3, Symphonic Dances. By 1942, his failing health led to his relocation to California.
One month before his death from advanced melanoma, Rachmaninoff was granted American citizenship. In Rachmaninoff's work, early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism and rich orchestral colors. Rachmaninoff featured the piano in his compositions, he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument through his own skills as a pianist, he was born into a family of the Russian aristocracy in the Russian Empire. In their first known genealogy, compiled in the 1680s by Perfiliy Rakhmaninov, the family derives its own origin from the Moldovan rulers Dragoshi, who ruled Moldavia and Wallachia from 1350 to 1552 descending from Vasile, nicknamed Rachmaninov, a son of the Moldavian prince Stephen the Great. Rachmaninoff's family had strong military leanings, his paternal grandfather, Arkady Alexandrovich, was a musician who had taken lessons from Irish composer John Field. His father, Vasily Arkadyevich Rachmaninoff, was an army officer and amateur pianist who married Lyubov Petrovna Butakova, the daughter of a wealthy army general who gave her five estates as part of her dowry.
The couple had three daughters, Rachmaninoff being their fourth child. Rachmaninoff was born in the Semyonovo estate, Zhglovskoy parish, Starorussky County, Novgorod Governorate, it is unclear which of two family estates he was born on: Oneg near Veliky Novgorod, or Semyonovo near Staraya Russa. His birth was registered in a church in the latter, but he was raised in Oneg until age nine and cited it as his birthplace in his adult life, he began music lessons organised by his mother at age four. She noticed his ability to reproduce passages from memory without a wrong note. Upon hearing news of the boy's gift, Arkady suggested she hire Anna Ornatskaya, a teacher and recent graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, to live with the family and begin formal teaching. Rachmaninoff dedicated his piano composition "Spring Waters" from Op. 14 to Ornatskaya. Rachmaninoff's father had to auction off the Oneg estate in 1882 due to his financial incompetence. Rachmaninoff remained critical of his father in life, describing him as "a wastrel, a compulsive gambler, a pathological liar, a skirt chaser".
The family moved to a small flat in Saint Petersburg. In 1883, Ornatskaya arranged for Rachmaninoff, now 10, to study music at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory; that year his sister Sofia died of diphtheria and his father left the family for Moscow. His maternal grandmother stepped in to help raise the children with particular focus on their spiritual life taking Rachmaninoff to Russian Orthodox Church services where he first experienced liturgical chants and church bells, two features he would incorporate in his future compositions. In 1885, Rachmaninoff suffered further loss when his sister Yelena died at age eighteen of pernicious anemia, she was an important musical influence to Rachmaninoff who had introduced him to the works of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. As a respite, his grandmother took him to a farm retreat by the Volkhov River where Rachmaninoff developed a love for rowing. At the Conservatory, however, he had adopted a relaxed attitude and failed his general education classes, purposely altered his report cards in what composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov called a period of "purely Russian self-delusion and laziness".
Rachmaninoff performed at events held at the Moscow Conservatory during this time, including those attended by the Grand Duke Konstantin and other notable figures, but upon failing his spring exams Ornatskaya notified his mother that his admission to further education might be revoked. His mother consulted with Alexander Siloti, her nephew and an accomplished pianist and student of Franz Liszt, who recommended he be transferred to the Moscow Conservatory and receive lessons from his former teacher, the more strict Nikolai Zverev, which lasted until 1888. In the autumn of 1885, Rachmaninoff moved in with Zverev and stayed for four years, during which he befriended fellow pupil Alexander Scriabin. After two years of tuition, the fifteen year old Rachmaninoff was awarded a Rubinstein scholarship, graduated from the lower division of the Conservatory to become a pupil of Siloti in advanced piano, Sergei Taneyev in counterpoint, Anton Arensky in fre
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the