Prokofiev museum

life & music

by polina firsanova

The next time you find yourself along Kamergersky Pereulok, one of the most beautiful pedestrian streets in all of Moscow, make your way down to Tverskaya Ulitsa and look for the plaque commemorating Sergei Prokofiev mounted on a wooden door. The Sergei Prokofiev Museum, a former tenement house and an architectural landmark, was the place where the celebrated Russian composer and conductor spent the last six years of his life, 1947 to 1953, and where he worked on the ballets "The Tale of the Stone Flower," "On Guard for Peace" and "Symphony No. 7."

If you enjoy Prokofiev's music, then this astonishing place is certainly worth a visit. Since the opening of the museum's first temporary exhibition, "Prokofiev, Pages of Life," in 1998, it has undergone many changes in terms of layout and story, culminating in the final product that visitors see today.

The museum does not function as a traditional house museum; instead, it presents a fusion of biographical details about Prokofiev's life alongside a visual display of his personal belongings.The layout is unusual, bright and modern, and equipped with touch-screen panels, unveiling many interesting biographic details of the composer's life. But what really counts is the objects around you.

Every document, every autograph, every book you see on display reflects the fascinating complexity of Prokofiev's personality; it also recreates the atmosphere of his music — bright, interesting, and ahead of its time. The apartment comprises a living room, Prokofiev's study, and two other rooms that present exhibits associated with his family and friends. According to Irina Belova, director of museum, "We were trying to make the museum appear as a real, living creature with its own atmosphere and energy."
The layout is not random
on the contrary, every element here contains an idea, leading us to a more detailed investigation into the artist's character. Prokofiev's car, at the very start of the exhibition, shows the composer's love of driving (incidentally, something he was not particularly good at — he was fined several times while living in Paris). Several scientific magazines on the table in his study reflect his interest in agriculture; his costumes contribute to our understanding of his rather sophisticated style and love of fashion; and his old chess set reminds us that not only was he the man who helped cement modernism as a force in music, but he was also intellectually curious.

The museum has a magnificent concert hall that features Prokofiev's grand piano and other rare musical instruments; it now holds events for classical music lovers. It also features authentic costume designs for the satirical opera "The Love for Three Oranges," which premiered in 1921. "I love the place," said visitor Kelsey Headrush after one of the museum's musical performances. "I really appreciate how full of multimedia and life it is."

Even if you are not a fan of Prokofiev's music, after visiting his museum you might feel the urge to find out more information about his life or get tickets for the next performance of "Piano Concert No. 3." Or maybe you'll never want to hear Prokofiev's name again. But there is one thing you will never feel — indifference.

Phone & Address:
+7 (495) 605 6515
Kamergersky pereulok, 6