Peter the Great Music Academy



Peter the Great Music Academy was founded in St. Petersburg in 1997 as an institute where young conductors from around the world would learn, advance, and perfect their conducting skills through working with some of the world's best contemporary conductors. The traditions of Mravinsky at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Kirov Theatre, the teaching legacy of Ilya Musin at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire (mentor of both Yuri Temirkanov and Valery Gergiev) contribute to make this Academy the center of orchestral conducting instruction in the world.

One of the most distinctive advantages of the masterclasses organized by the Academy is the fact that all participants have an opportunity to work with and conduct highly professional orchestras in the renowned Bolosselsky-Belozersky Palace (the City Cultural Center), the Hermitage Theatre, and other venues. Every masterclasss always demands that each participant is able to digest the teaching methods thought by the Conservatory and its great teachers.

The Academy also arranges concerts in Russia, Ukraine and other countries for conductors who want to gain further experience through working with professional orchestras. Many conductors have, in this way, advanced their skills, built their professional resumes, and obtained positions with professional orchestras in their own countries, thanks to the experiences that they acquired here.

There is always time to enjoy the beauty of St. Petersburg, the concerts at St. Petersburg Philharmonic, as well as the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre. And St. Petersburg is in reach of many historical and cultural locations to explore.

2007 marked the 10th Anniversary of Peter the Great Music Academy, as well as the launch of this website. We hope that our presence on the internet will contribute to the expansion of our international masterclass and to its continued success!

Dr. Elena Kostyuchenko,
General Manager

Born is St. Petersburg, Dr. Elena Kostyuchenko is the General Manager of Peter the Great Music Academy. She is also the General Manager of Symfonia St. Petersburg Orchestra, General Manager of the British Music Festival, and has produced many festivals in Russia, such as the American Music Festival, the Swedish Music Festival, etc. She organized tours for various Saint Petersburg based orchestras in Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland ), USA, Costa-Rica and other countries. From 1997 Kostyuchenko is the organizer of the Annual International workshop for conductors under Peter the Great Music Academy, featuring some of the best St. Petersburg orchestras, and featuring participants from all over the world. She has introduced many great artists to Saint Petersburg audiences at the Grand Hall of the D. Shostakovich Philharmonic: Gary Carr, double bass (1995); Barbara Hendricks, soprano (1996); pianist Rosalyn Tureck (1996); William Warfield, bass baritone (1998); John Bruce Yeh, principal clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony (1998), and others. She has represented many successful artists from Europe, the United States and Russia, engaging them with many Russian orchestras in Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Yaroslavl, Pskov, Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Sochi, Petrozavodsk, Mineralnye Vody, Maikop, Krasnodar, etc., as well as neighboring countries. These include recording activities, and presentation of new music to the Russian audiences. She has collaborated with various European festivals in Finland, Switzerland, Latvia, Germany and France. She holds the Certificate in Artist Management (following the internship in San Francisco, USA) and the Diploma from the Russian American Center of Citizens Initiative. She is also the candidate for PhD at Saint Petersburg State University.

Johan Michael Katz,
Honorary Vice President

Photo by Gleb Kostin

Johan Michael Katz, born in the Netherlands and raised in the USA, was appointed Honorary Vice President of the Peter the Great Music Academy in July 2006. Currently residing in the UK, he is the founder and Music Director of The Sinfonietta, a regional professional chamber orchestra based in the South East of England which has given many concerts to critical acclaim over the past five years. For some time Johan was conductor of the Morley Chamber Orchestra (Morley College, London). He has conducted in the USA, Russia, Switzerland and the UK. This coming season he has been invited as guest conductor by several Russian orchestras. As composer his works have been heard on two continents. A graduate of The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, USA, his teachers for conducting have included Ennio Nicotra (Italy), Alexander Polyanichko (Russia), Fred Prauznitz (USA), Urs Schneider (Switzerland), Noam Sheriff (Israel) and Walter Susskind (Canada). He studied cello with Alfred Zighera (USA) and Zara Nelsova (USA) and composition with Pulitzer Prize winner Ross Lee Finney (USA) and Paul Webster (UK). He has attended conducting masterclasses in Russia, Switzerland, Italy and Israel. Over the years he was fortunate to be able to work in direct contact with Aaron Copland, Luigi Dallapicola, Darius Milhaud, Luigi Nono, Gunther Schuller, Alexander Tcherepnin, Sir Michael Tippett and Robert Ward. He is also the Principal Guest Conductor of the Pskov State Philharmonic Orchestra in Russia.

Predrag Gosta,
Artistic Advisor &
U.S. Director

Photo by Bryan Upchurch

Predrag Gosta is emerging as one of the most energetic young conductors in the USA. Known for his exciting performing style and skilful leadership under variety of settings, including orchestra, chorus, opera, ballet or historical performances, Gosta currently resides in Atlanta, USA, where he leads several ensembles, including the renowned period instrument orchestra, New Trinity Baroque, and the Orchestra of the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre. During the 2008-09 season, Gosta was the Assistant Conductor of the National Philharmonic, as well as the Artistic Director of the National Philharmonic Singers. He is currently the Resident Conductor of New Europe Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Guest Conductor of Pro Classica Chamber Orchestra.

Maestro Gosta studied in his native Serbia, United Kingdom and in the United States. He also pursued additional conducting training in Russia, primarily in St. Petersburg. He has been featured on both the concert and the operatic stage equally as a conductor, vocal soloist, and harpsichordist. He is a regular presenter of master classes and lectures, and is an active recording artists.

To learn more about Predrag Gosta, visit his website,


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