Samara Philharmonic Concert Hall is the main concert hall in the city. It stands on the corner of Frunze and Leo Tolstoy streets as an Art-Nouveau revival landmark reminding of the motifs of Olympus circus (its predecessor) and Soviet monumentalism. The hall is brightly lit before concerts. The auditorium sits 975 people (686 in the stalls and 289 on the balcony). Foyer is splendid in itself with architectural forms and design. The Hall houses the Samara Philharmonic Orchestra.
Samara Philharmonic hall was established in 1940 and was housed in the former Olympus circus, a wonderful specimen of Art-Nouveau style. It was in Olympus where the Soviet rule was proclaimed in Samara in 1917. The circus saw the world-famous Fyodor Chaliapin and numerous circus performances. The theatre-circus was opened on 1 December 1907. Yet the history of philharmonic society is even richer. The Philharmonic Society was established in 1858, in 1900 a branch of Imperial Russian Musical Society opened too.
And then in 1907 came Olympus theatre-circus built by Platon Shamansky in the then popular Art-Nouveau style. Apollo and Erato overlooked the entrance from above. They still stand on top of the façade though now they look smaller in proportion. The theatre had its own orchestra. The building was used for various performances – circus, opera, drama, lectures. The stage was easily transformed for a circus arena, while the auditorium seated 1,100. Most notably the acoustics was excellent.
In 1940 the building was given to the newly established Philharmonia. In 1974 the concert hall was closed for reconstruction: the building was torn down and completely rebuild. The new building (opened in 1987) is bigger and somewhat different, although resembles the architectural features of Olympus. Since the scale was upped, the statue of Apollo and Erato now looks less prominent. Also rumour has it that the acoustics in the new concert hall is worse than in its predecessor.
Samara Philharmonic Hall bought a Beckerath organ in 2001. Now a full spectrum of classical and modern music can be performed before an audience of 975. The Hall is used for concerts of classical music and tours of pop/rock musicians, as well as for corporate concerts and meetings.
The Symphony Orchestra (The Samara Philharmonic Orchestra) with its main conductor Alexander Shcherbakov is one of the best in Russia. In summer the Orchestra gives concerts for a reduced price and some free public concerts in Strukovsky Garden.
Samara Philharmonic Hall is also home to Volga Philharmonic chamber orchestra, Russian folk instruments ensemble, Volga folk-band, BalaLike folk project and other music and musical education groups.
Samara Philharmonic organizes several festivals throughout the year, including Viva Bayan, Samara Autumn (Oct), Royal Audiences (organ music, biannual, Sep-Dec), Jazz Spring (biannual, March)
141 ulitsa Frunze (corner Leo Tolstoy)
Box-office is open 10am – 7 pm daily. Tickets can also be booked by phone, in various locations around the city, and online. Loyalty card and subscription tickets are available. Subscription tickets include passes to several concerts at a reduced price (appr. $10 – 25 or 600 – 1500 ₽).