The Petrozavodsk State Glazunov Conservatoire was founded in 1967 as a branch of the oldest in Russia Saint-Petersburg (Leningrad) Conservatory. In 1991 the branch became an independent music institute with around 100 faculty members and 500 students. In 2003 it was named after the famous Russian composer and conductor, one of the directors of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Aleksander Glazunov who visited Karelia in the early 1900s and created several orchestral compositions devoted to the beauty of the northern area (Finnish Fantasy, 1909; Karelian Legend, 1916). In 2011 the Petrozavodsk Conservatoire gained the status of the academy.
The idea of founding a new higher education music institution in the Republic of Karelia was first raised in 1919 by famous musicians of the Soviet Union who managed to open the Higher Musical Classes of piano and composition in Petrozavodsk. The graduates of the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory - pianist and composer Nestor Zagorny, flutist and conductor Nikolai Solnyshkov, composer and conductor Yury Shaporin, conductor Nikolai Kusevitsky - trained the generation of teachers for the growing network of music schools and colleges in Karelia. In 1960’s the Soviet government took the decision to open the branch of the Leningrad Conservatory in Petrozavodsk in order to provide the whole area with highly professional teaching and performing staff. Musicologist Georgy Lapchinsky was appointed as the first principal of the Petrozavodsk branch, the principal of the Leningrad Conservatory Pavel Serebryakov, an outstanding pianist, greeted students at the solemn opening ceremony. Professors from the Leningrad Conservatory came to Petrozavodsk every week to share their knowledge and performing experience with students of the newly opened branch. Amongst its tutors were Yury Kramarov (viola), Alexey Lazko (cello), Yury Bolshiyanov (trupmet), Pavel Orekhov (horn), Petr Govorushko (button accordion), Tatiana Bershadskaya (theory of music), Avenir Mikhailov (choral conducting), Alexander Shalov (balalaika), Albert Leman (composer). Other famous musicians - pianist Krasnoslav Zubravsky, musicologist Yuzef Kon, choral conductor Stanislav Legkov, violinist Eduard Zondereger, harp player Ariadna Tugai, composer Valentin Konchakov, trumpet player Leonid Budanov, composer Albin Repnikov - joined the team years later and formed the musical elite of Karelia. Thanks to them Petrozavodsk State Glazunov Conservatory has become a centre of excellence for training music professionals, concert activity and musicological research in the North Russia.
The Conservatoire’s main fields of expertise are developing and implementing Graduate and Postgraduate Study Programmes in Music (instrumental performance, conducting, vocal, music composition, theory of music, traditional music, jazz, drama); arrangement of music festivals and competitions, training programmes and seminars, concerts and master-classes; carrying out scientific research and publication in the field of music, etc. Its more than 4000 graduates work in Russia and many other countries all over the world - Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Israel, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. The Conservatoire is involved in international cooperation in the field of music education, research, publications, concert activity, scientific conference, project management. The main partners are University of Eastern Finland, Juminkeko Foundation, Sibelius Academy (research, publications and education); Shanghai University, China (international students exchange); International Musicological Society (conferences and research); Florence Academy of Music, Association Le Querce Del Tasso in Rome, Italy (training programmes for students, concert tours), etc.