- Mark Aronovich Etinger
Town in Russia. Located near the mouth of the Volga, it became famous at the end of the 19th century as a centre of music in the south of Russia. Opera troupes and soloists came on tour, especially after the opening of the Winter Theatre (with seating for 700) in 1884 and the Summer Theatre (with seating for 1200) in 1892.
The Society for Music and Drama, which had been founded in 1885, began music classes in 1889 and taught singing and instruction on a number of instruments. In 1891 the society was reorganized into the Astrakhan division of the Imperial Russian Music Society; it remained active until 1920. The classes had been headed in 1897–9 by Fyodor Keneman, who introduced permanent symphony concerts. Four programmes per season were given and, with the participation of teachers, students and military musicians, the symphonies of Haydn and Beethoven, and later of Mozart and Tchaikovsky, were performed....