Odessa Philharmonic Theater

Odessa's Philharmonic Theatre (Ukrainian: Одеська державна філармонія, Russian: Одесская филармония) is a theater in Odessa, Ukraine. The design resembles the Doge's Palace in Venice.


The foundation stone for the theater was laid September 3, 1894, a day after Odessa's one-hundred-year birthday. The building was intended as the new stock exchange, or "New Exchange" to replace the old stock exchange. This is why the vast hall was decorated with six panels by the artist Nikolai Nikolaevich Karazin (1842-1908) which depict commerce throughout various stages of history.

Like the Odessa Opera Theater before it, a world competition was announced for a conceptual design of a new Odessa stock exchange. The design of Viennese architect V.J. Prohaska was considered the best. But this design did not meet all of the requirements, therefore it was modified and improved by Alexander Osipovich Bernardacci.

Construction was completed in 1898. Since 1924 the building has housed the Odessa Philharmonic.


The theater can seat 1,000 people and is 15 meters high and 910 square meters. The large hall has no supporting columns, and because of this, it was one of the most expensive buildings in Odessa to build.

The main entrance is by a large open-sided, roofed gallery, called a loggia. The ceiling of this open entry is painted with the twelve symbols of the Zodiac.

The interior is paneled with dark Lebanese cedar, and the windows are set in white Carrara marble.

Hobart Earle

Since 1991, American Hobart Earle has conducted the philharmonic orchestra.

Interesting facts

Since the building was originally designed as a Stock exchange, rather than a concert hall, it was made to be sound-resistant, rather than sound-conducting, in order to provide more privacy to visitors. Consequently, the acoustics are rather poor, as compared with other theaters and concert halls, so performers must use microphones and amplifiers to be heard adequately.


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