Igor Varfolomeev's site about lute and guitar music
Classical guitar page
History of guitar in Russia
The article author of guitar history in Russia - Eugeny Dmitrievich Larichev is one of the brightest propagandists not only of the classical guitar, but also the man who made a valuable contribution to the development of guitar art in Russia. On his arrangements of folk music grew a generation of guitarists. Many of his articles, collections and other works gave a base to suppose that two more Larichevs and Russia would be in the number of the world recognized guitar countries to what it belongs by right.
The guitar history in Russia is rich and original. In its development it passed the same way as in other countries. The Russian historian N. Karamzin wrote that still in the VI-th century A.D. the Slavs played kuifar and psaltery and don't part with these instruments even in military maches.
The four-stringed guitar was also known in Russia. 1769 the academician Shtelin writes about the appearance in Moscow and Petersburg (during the reign of Elizabeth) of the Italian guitar. This guitar was five-stringed. They were printed special magazines including solo and ensemble pieces.
At the end of the XVIII-th century in Russia appears the six-stringed guitar. In the XIX-th century it is a fashion instrument and it has friends from the high life society.
They appear first schools of playing at this instrument. The oldest school printed in Russia is "The improved guitar school for six strings or guide to play guitar self-taught" of Ignaty fon Geld. It was issued at the begin of XIX-th century in Russian and German.
At the same time in Petersburg are issued "Etudes" and "Four sonatas for the piano and the six-stringed guitar" of P. Galiany, a well-known performer and pedagogue, "New magazine for the six-stringed guitar" of A. Beresovskiy, "Concert for the six-stringed guitar with the orchester" of Ashanin (1815).
1821-1823 in Moscow and Nizhni Novgorod were opened "Musical academies" in which came youthes and girls to study the guitar playing.
They appear prominent performers at this instrument: Mark Danilovich Sokolovskiy (1818-1883) and Nikolay Petrovich Makarov (1810-1890).
A great contribution into the development of Russian guitar art made P. Pettoletty (1800-1875), I. Dekker-Shenk (1826-1899), I. Klinger (died 1897), Ju. Shtockman (1839-1905), V. Lebedev (1867-1907), Ju. Dyakov (1840-1910) and others.
The named guitarists were famous performers and pedagogues, authors of school and teach-yourself books, original compositions, arrangements for the six-stringed guitar.
In the second half of the XIX-th century came the decay of guitar art so in west-europe countries as in Russia.
For some decades the guitar is at the second plan and only to the end of the XIX-th century it begins again to win the sympathies and the recognition of the general public.
The new generation of guitarists-virtuosos continued the best classical traditions and raised the guitar art at the unprecedented loftiness.