The National Philharmonic of Ukraine first performed in Kiev in 1863 at a time when the city was flourishing as a trading city and playing an important role in the Russian Empire; by 1881 the orchestra had its own home, a mammoth concert hall built in stately style by Kiev architect Vladimir Nikolaev, who managed to create almost perfect acoustics, despite the diminutive size of the stage and its elegant auditorium. During the early years the National Philharmonic flourished and great names such as composer conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff and Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin played there. Somehow, despite all the political upheavals and enforced closures of the 20th century, the hall has survived; it was restored following a flood in the 1980s and reopened in 1996 with upgraded facilities and improved acoustics.
Today with a mixed repertoire of classical, chamber and choral concerts, folk music and jazz, the National Philharmonic is permanent home to the Kiev Symphony and Chamber orchestras. It has a colonnaded and galleried concert hall that is surprisingly intimate in size. Seats that are tucked behind the columns are positioned within view of giant screens so the audience can follow the action on stage.
Volodymyrska Street, 2, Kiev. Box office: daily 11am–7.30pm (Mon 7pm). Ticket price depends on event. Take the metro to Maidan Nezalezhnosti.