Chernivtsi Attractions: Philharmonic Square

Chernivtsi attractions map: area D

GPS: 48°17'40.8''N, 25°56'3.4''E

 

Philharmonic Square - is one of the oldest squares in Chernivtsi.

In due time, residents of the city called this square Melplatz, which meant Flour Square. People used to sell flour products on this square. Before that it was a guarded area as in the end of the 18th century a powder warehouse, military barracks, and even a prison took place here.

In the middle of the 19th century, this place turned from a suburb into a central part of the city. The prison and the warehouses were replaced and the square began to look like a typical central part of a European city.

 

The construction of the former five-storey Bristol Hotel stands out against the background of the low-level square buildings. Now its rooms are functioning as a dormitory for the students of Bukovinian State Medical University, but one of the points of local government administration program is to replace the dormitory.

 

The fence surrounding Bristol Hotel is restored according to the standard of the thirties of XX century. Not far from this “skyscraper” stands a purely decorative water pump – greeting from those times when the functionality of the subject went side by side with aesthetics.

The central building of the square by rights is the building which gave the name to it. It is the edifice of the Regional Philharmonic Society.

 

In 1876-1877 music lovers made a donation towards the building of the concert hall of the Ukrainian Musical Society. This society was involved in the development of the Ukrainian national art and organized concerts of world famous singers.  The most significant music stars of XIX century presented concerts here. They were such people as Fedor Shaliapin, Enrico Karuzo, Solomia Krushelnytska, Artur Rubinstein, Mykola Lysenko and others.

Chernivtsi Regional Philharmonic Society, which developed the great cultural traditions of our land, was founded in 1940.

The brightest Diva of Chernivtsi Jewish Theatre, who played on the stage of our Philharmonic Society in the sixties of XX century, was Sidi Tal (the real name Sorel Birkental, 08.09.1912 – 17.08.1983). Leonid Utiosov and Arkady Raikin were captivated by the performance of this actress from Chernivtsi. Solomon Michels suggested recording her roles to preserve such treasure for the future generations. The performances of the Jewish theatre (the last one in Ukraine closed in 1950) in which she acted were always treated like special events in the city. The glory of Sidi Tal thundered during the Romanian and Soviet periods: she was the Honored Artist of the USSR.

 

In the eighties, Chernivtsi Philharmonic Society was famous in the whole Soviet Union. First of all, it occupied one of the first places in fulfillment of the finance plan. Secondly, at this Philharmonic Society such famous Ukrainian ensembles as “Smerichka” with Nazario Yaremchuk and Vasyl Zinkevych as its soloists and “Chervona Ruta” with Sofia Rotaru as a soloist. Actually, the tours of world popular stars in the city and the tours of the previously mentioned music groups in our country made much of a profit for the Philharmonic Society.   At those times, Chernivtsi was such a popular city that famous artists could choose three cities for their tour: Novosibirsk, Chernivtsi, and Leningrad.

At different times, such people as Sofia Rotaru, Nazario Yaremchuk, Vasyl Zinkevych, Lilia Sandulesa, Ivo Bobul, Pavlo Dvorsky, Oleksandr Tyshchenko and even a famous Russian singer Oleksandr Serov worked in Chernivtsi Regional Philharmonic Society.

 

In 2010, we celebrated the 70-th anniversary of the foundation of the Philharmonic Society in Chernivtsi. The extensive restoration of the building was carried out and the building began its second life.