The Return of Physharmonica Museum
Kostroma Oblast, Galich, Lunacharsky Ul., Building 11
Tel.: +7 (949437) 2-24-06, +7 (910) 952-59-77
Daily from 10:00 – 17:00
Full concert ticket: 200 rubles/person
Children’s concert ticket: 50 rubles/person
Group of more than 10 people: 100 rubles/person
Workshop: 300 rubles/person
Museum founder (owner, director)
Tatiana Vladimirovna Kolesova
We can’t bring back all the instruments, but we can bring back the memory of them! I am searching for saved physharmonicas in Russia. I gather the history of their origin, their flourishing period, and their oblivion. Whenever possible, I collect old instruments and restore them with the help of specialists. I conduct lectures and concerts for Galichians and guests of the city. In my museum one can learn about the amazing destiny of the physharmonica in Russia and other countries. Visitors can look inside the tool and see with their own eyes how the mechanics work. I believe that my Museum should become one of the distinctive tourist sites on the map of our country. Back in 2008, at the request of Irina Gennadievna Belova, director of the Galich Regional History Museum, I began to study a museum exhibit – a physharmonica , which was restored by Nikolai Vasilyevich Sotnikov. At first there was surprise, bewilderment (and what can be done with this miracle). But after touching the keys and extracting the sound, I discovered something I will love for the rest of my life!
In the beginning, the process of pumping air into the instrument with pedals was accompanied by great physical effort, since the bellows had not been driven for more than thirty years! But gradually, the physharmonica came to life and woke up. There was a constant feeling that the instrument itself chooses what music should resound from it. Over time, a small concert repertoire began to develop and a desire to show this miracle to everyone around! Now I am supported by my colleagues – musicians, master restorers and just lovers of old music from Canada, America, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, the Czech Republic, and India. My friend from Canada, Rodney Jantzi, says his dream is to let the whole world know about these amazing instruments and love them. And I completely agree with him. Then, Sergey Valentinovich Kasick appeared in our team. He is a master piano tuner. Fascinated by the sound of instruments, he learned to tune the musical part of the physharmonica. In my museum, as part of the collection, there is a spiritual album of the Holy Martyr Metropolitan Seraphim Chichagov, written for the organ and physharmonica! In concerts, his works are performed on the physharmonica exactly as they should have been!
In 2020, the idea of creating our own museum came to life within the walls of the City Regional History Museum. A physharmonica that can make a sound is very rare in modern Russia. It is a pity that today the skills of restoration, reconstruction, and repair of physharmonicas are almost completely lost, and even more so the traditions of playing music and participating in concert programs of these ancient instruments are lost. But they were part of Russian musical culture in the past. They were loved and in demand among different classes and people of different incomes and levels of education. They stood in noble estates and in conservatory classes, in merchant houses and in parochial schools, and in catholic churches and homes of orthodox priests. Miraculously preserved instruments survived the First world war, the revolution, the civil war, the Great Patriotic war, and the perestroika (restructuring) period.
I want as many people in Russia as possible to know and love these extremely soulful chamber instruments. Their noble sound has an extraordinary life-giving effect on listeners. The nervous system calms down, the pressure decreases, and the pulse evens out, while headache, fatigue, and irritation disappear. The mood changes and a state of peace and joy comes. And the performer’s whole life changes!
P.S. Let’s find all the miraculously survived physharmonicas in Russia, repair them, and set them up. That would be great. After all, almost every museum in Russia is proud of its broken instrument, which is silent. And if you restore it and start playing, then physharmonicas will resound all over the country. Can you imagine that? I definitely can!