How much should i pay for a conservatory: How much does a conservatory cost? Here’s what to expect

How much does a conservatory cost? Here’s what to expect

If you’re planning on extending your home with a new conservatory, you’re probably wondering how big of an investment this project is going to be. Now is the time to get clued up and learn how much does a conservatory cost, so you can set a realistic budget and start planning your dream extension.

Conservatory ideas have been around for a long time, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere. These glass extensions are cropping up at the rear of more houses across the country, and it’s not hard to see why; aside from creating more space in the home, a conservatory is a wonderful way to admire the garden from a comfortable indoor setting.

‘Conservatories are great for adding natural light into your home and increasing your property’s value,’ says Ryan Schofield, Managing Director, Thames Valley Window Company. ‘There are several different styles of conservatories to choose from in a variety of materials to suit varying tastes, property styles and budgets.

So the question is, how much does a conservatory cost? Being aware of this from the get-go will put you in good stead for learning how to plan a conservatory, so you know where your money will be going. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about the current cost of a conservatory, so you can get the ball rolling with your latest home project. 

(Image credit: Thames Valley Window Co)

How much does a conservatory cost?

‘The cost of a new conservatory will typically vary depending on the size and style of the building and what materials you use,’ says Fiona Davies, Research Director, Kosy Co Living. ‘As a rough guide, a small, basic conservatory might range from anywhere between £5,000 – £10,000, while larger and more complex designs can cost over £30,000.’

To understand exactly how much a conservatory costs, and where the high price tag comes from, it’s helpful to break down the figure into its separate components.

Foundation materials

The foundation materials for building the base of the conservatory might be bricks, concrete, steel, or paving slabs. ‘Foundation materials shouldn’t set you back a significant amount, but the specific cost will depend on the depth and complexity of the foundation you build,’ Fiona explains.

Steel conservatory bases are the quickest to build and usually the most cost-effective. As an example, ConservaBase from ConservatoryLand is a steel base that can be laid in two days, and costs approximately £520 per square metre.


(Image credit: Future PLC)

Obviously, larger conservatories will cost more. Most companies offer quotations based on price per square metre, so it’s helpful to know exactly how much space you’d like your conservatory to take up. As an example, conservatories at Thames Valley Windows start at £2,400 per square metre.


(Image credit: ConservatoryLand)

A conservatory frame can be made from a range of materials, including uPVC, timber, and aluminium. Depending on the material you opt for, the answer to how much does a conservatory cost will fluctuate.  

‘uPVC is the least durable, but cheapest material for your framing. Timber can be quite cost-effective but requires more craftsmanship to shape – more complex structures will push prices up,’ says Fiona. ‘Aluminium is easily the most expensive framing material but will likely require the least maintenance further down the line.’ 

Choosing your material frame will come down to your budget and your personal preference. Timber frames have become increasingly popular because of their natural, more rustic aesthetic. ‘A timber conservatory is a more luxurious extension which will add value to any home and can be designed and manufactured to meet almost any design specification,’ says Karen Bell, Creative Director, David Salisbury.

Roofing materials

(Image credit: ConservatoryLand)

Most conservatory roofs are made from glass, but you can also opt for polycarbonate or tiles, depending on the style and design. Polycarbonate is the cheapest option, but it’s less durable than glass and also lets less light in.  

If you do choose to have a glass roof, expect to pay an extra £2,000, and even more if you go for tile.


To make a conservatory warmer, it’s important that all the windows and glass panels are glazed. ‘The glazing of the conservatory can be made from single, double, or triple glazed glass or polycarbonate panels,’ Fiona explains. ‘The cost of these materials will depend on the size and thickness of the panels, as well as any additional features such as tinting or self-cleaning coatings.’

So how much does a conservatory cost?

Taking into account all of the above factors, you could be paying anywhere between £5,000 and £30,000 for a new conservatory – perhaps even more depending on the style you go for.

ConservatoryLand has a helpful calculator where you can get an accurate quote for the cost your new conservatory. You can design your dream conservatory and input specific details into the calculator, including:

  • Preferred installation type – installed vs self-build
  • Base type – ConservaBase for example 
  • Property type – house vs bungalow vs other (for example, single story extension)
  • Size – you can add exact dimensions here in mm or inches
  • Preferred style from 9 different options: lean-to / edwardian / hipped-back edwardian / victorian / hipped-back victorian / gable front / hipped-back gable front / orangery / hipped-back orangery
  • Preferred model (with a preview pic)
  • Model variations such as walls vs frames (i. e. would like glass all the way around for example)
  • Doors
  • Preferred colours
  • Roof glazing

(Image credit: Annie Sloan )

Using this calculator, you’ll be able to work out exactly how much does a conservatory cost based on what you want your extension to look like. 

Try now: ConservatoryLand calculator

What type of conservatory is cheapest?

The most cost-effective style of conservatory is a lean-to conservatory. These have simple, rectangular designs and require less materials than Victorian and Edwardian style conservatories. A lean-to conservatory can range in price from £8,000 to £17,000, depending on the size and the roofing and frame materials you opt for.

‘For properties where space is limited, or where there is space under the eaves, like a bungalow, then a lean-to conservatory is a practical and stylish way to extend a property’, says Ryan from Thames Valley Window Company. ‘Its versatile design is ideal for matching the style and dimensions of any home.

Victorian and Edwardian style conservatories require higher budgets. From ConservatoryLand, these types of conservatories will cost roughly:

  • Victorian Style Conservatory – approx. £14,525. Based on a 3m x 3m installed conservatory with ConservaBase to a house, with Dwarf-wall, frames all around and french doors
  • Edwardian Style Conservatory – approx. £17,278. Based on a 3m x 3m installed conservatory with ConservaBase to a house, with Dwarf-wall, frames all around and bi-folding doors

Is a conservatory cheaper than an extension?

‘Whether an extension or conservatory will work out cheaper largely depends on the footprint and style of the extension,’ says Karen, David Salisbury. ‘A single-storey extension housing one room will likely be more expensive than a conservatory – but, for the latter, it depends on the style and quality of materials.’

Conservatories tend to be smaller in size than most extension projects, which is why they’re usually cheaper. Extensions usually require some form of structural work as well, plus more planning permission fees than a new conservatory. A kitchen extension cost could be upwards of £30,000 for example, and take 11 months to complete.

‘Conservatories are generally less expensive to build than extensions as they’re usually smaller and require less labour and materials to construct,’ says Fiona from Kosy Co Living. ‘If you’re unsure of whether you need a conservatory or extension, remember that conservatories can be less energy-efficient and not as versatile as a full extension.’

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

‘Planning permission isn’t usually required for a conservatory, as long as it meets certain criteria,’ says Fiona. ‘These criteria are:

  • The conservatory is a single-storey structure that is not higher than the roof of the existing property.
  • The conservatory does not cover more than half of the garden area.
  • The conservatory does not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three meters if it is attached to a terraced or semi-detached house, or by four meters if it is attached to a detached house.
  • The conservatory is not located on the side of the property that faces a public road.
  • If the property is a listed building, the conservatory is higher than the roof of the existing property, or if it will be more than 4 metres in depth, you’ll likely need planning permission to build your conservatory.

‘Even if planning permission isn’t required, it’s best to check with your local planning authority to find out how to comply with building regulations on things like ventilation, insulation and glazing,’ Fiona advises.

Will you be going ahead with your plans now you know how much a conservatory costs? 

How to Save Money in 2023

A lean-to conservatory is a great way to add a uniquely relaxing space to your home. Whether you live in a single-storey bungalow, or a modest modern home, a conservatory adds not only value but also space, but it does so at a moderate price, helping it to become a viable option for many homeowners.

What’s more, with a lean-to-conservatory, you’ll gain additional space at the fraction of the cost of a house extension. In this article, we’ll be looking at:

  • How much a lean to conservatory costs
  • What affects the cost of a lean-to conservatory
  • How to save money on a lean-to conservatory
  • What’s involved in installing a lean-to conservatory
  • How to find and hire an installer

If you’re wanting to make some extra room at home and think a conservatory is the way to go, keep reading to find out our top tips on achieving that at the best possible price.


How Much Does a Lean-to Conservatory Cost?

There’s no one set style when it comes to lean-to-conservatories, meaning prices can rise and fall depending on many different factors from materials to size and if you have a dwarf wall or a fully-glazed design.

Lean-to Conservatory Design Roof Material Estimated Cost
No Base Glass £4,500 to £6,500
No Base Polycarbonate £4,250 to £6,000
Dwarf Wall Glass £7,250 to £10,750
Dwarf Wall Polycarbonate £6,750 to £10,250
Fully Glazed Glass £6,250 to £9,250
Fully Glazed Polycarbonate £5,750 to £8,750

Firstly, we’ll take a look at lean-to-conservatories with no base. For a small 3500 by 2000 millimetre model in glass, you can expect costs of between £4,500 to £5,500, while the same size in polycarbonate will command fees of between £4,250 to £5,250.

For a larger design of 4000 by 2500 millimetres, a glass design will come in at between £5,500 to £6,500, and the same size in polycarbonate will be between £4,750 to £6,000.

Dwarf walls are more expensive out of the three build options, but they do enhance the value of your conservatory and help to maximise the space available to you, so can be a worthwhile investment.

The small 3500 by 2000 millimetre model in glass comes in at between £7,250 to £8,750, while the same size in polycarbonate will cost between £6,750 to £8,250.

While, a larger design of 4000 by 2500 millimetres in glass will come in at between £9,250 to £10,750, and the same size in polycarbonate will be between £8,750 to £10,250.

To optimise the most out of natural light, fully-glazed lean-to conservatories can be a great choice – they’re also cheaper than those with dwarf walls if that’s an important budget consideration for you.

Starting small, the 3500 by 2000 millimetre model in glass costs between £6,250 and £7,750, while the same size in polycarbonate will cost between £5,750 to £7,250.

When we look at the larger size of 4000 by 2500 millimetres, the glass variation will cost between £7,750 to £9,250, while the same size in polycarbonate can cost between £7,250 and £8,750.

While these prices consider the entirety of a lean-to conservatory, if you only need the roof of your lean to conservatory replaced, you can expect this to cost between £2,000 to £3,300 for a glass roof and between £2,200 to £3,200 for a polycarbonate roof.

Are you ready to build your lean-to conservatory ? HouseholdQuotes can help you find the right builder.

Click the button below to compare quotes from multiple tradespeople near you, and potentially save money on your project:

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What Affects the Cost of a Lean-to Conservatory?

Just about everything about your conservatory can be customised, from the construction material (white UPVC, wood, timber-effect UPVC or even aluminium). You can choose the dwarf walls to go with the red brick of your home, or you can go with the full-height glass to take advantage of the incredible view of your garden.

Full-Height vs. Dwarf Walls

Lean-to conservatories work for contemporary and period properties alike, adding that modern look to your home. Generally, the conservatory designs fall into two broad categories:

  • Full-height glass conservatories
  • Dwarf wall conservatories

The conservatories vary in price depending on the option you choose. Full-height glass conservatories tend to cost less than conservatories with dwarf walls, and although dwarf wall conservatories offer more privacy and security, as well as being sturdier in construction, full-length glass has its advantages too.

Benefits of full-length conservatories include more natural light and the uninterrupted views of your garden. Dwarf wall lean-to conservatories of 3500 by 2000 millimetres cost between £7,250 to £8,750, while the same size with full-length glass costs between £6,250 to £7,750.

Glazing Options

Polycarbonate glass is cheaper than low-energy glass which is dearer. Like-for-like on lean-to conservatory size, polycarbonate costs £5,750 to £7,250, while glass falls between £6,250 to £7,750.

Roof and Frame Material

Glass, polycarbonate and tiles are the most used materials for a lean-to conservatory roof. Tiles are the most expensive, coming out at £250 per square metre, while you can expect costs of between £2,000 to £3,300 for a glass roof, and between £2,200 to £3,200 for a polycarbonate roof.


The larger the conservatory, the higher the price – the difference between a 3500 by 2000 millimetre conservatory and a 4000 by 2500 millimetre conservatory of full-height and constructed of glass is around £3,000.

Colours and Finishes

Standard colours of uPVC and timber will be less expensive than those coloured in a bespoke shade, so if you’re looking to keep costs low, stick to the traditional colours, or look to DIY the different shade yourself to help to keep costs down initially.

Windows and Doors

Having a uPVC patio door installed can cost between £500 to £1,250, while aluminium can reach £700 to £3,000. If you’re wanting something more bespoke, adding in a bifold door can be the way to go, but they do carry far higher costs at £3,000 to £3,500.


Further to the external features, you may wish to have some of the following installed on the inside of your conservatory to make it a useful space all year round:

  • Electrics including mood lighting or a television point to turn it into a multi-purpose room
  • Climate control to provide heat in winter, and cooling comfort in the summer months
  • Floor tiles to match the floors in your kitchen, or another part of the house

Ease of Access

Considering ease of access to your property is something that can influence the cost of your conservatory, as your tradespeople will need to get various items into your garden to complete the work. If you live on a street where there is no off-road parking, or there’s no external access to your property or it’s very narrow, it’s worth telling your traders upfront so that they can look to mitigate these issues before the work starts to keep things running as smoothly as possible.

Your Location

Prices for the same jobs in capital cities cost more than those in less populated towns and villages, so be expected to pay more for the same work if you live in a more metropolitan area.

How Can I Save Money on a Lean-to Conservatory?

Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of building a lean-to conservatory. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple builders near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.

Click the button below to get started:

Comparing Quotes Could Save You Up To 40%:
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By choosing a lean-to rather than a full-sized conservatory, you’re already saving money, while being able to add value to your home in the realm of around 5%. This makes it a safe investment as you’re likely to see a good return on your buy-in when it comes to selling your home.

Let’s look at some other ways to keep your lean-to-conservatory costs low.

It goes without saying, but the size impacts the final price you’ll pay for your conservatory, so if you are tight on budget, make sure you stick within your budgetary boundaries to avoid spending over your limits and stretching yourself too much.

If this means you can’t afford what you had originally set out to have built, it might be worth spending some time saving to get the right size to avoid adding something too small to make much of a difference to your living space and might end up being a waste of money through the hastiness of having it installed.

When it comes to conservatories, there are two routes you can follow. The first one is purchasing a conservatory kit and then installing it yourself or finding an installer, and the second option is to request quotes which include supply and installation.

The second option is recommended if you are not an accomplished DIYer and want to have a guaranteed installation. We don’t advise the DIY route unless you feel comfortable installing it yourself, but it will bring down your labour costs considerably if you are comfortable with the work, which can make it a viable option for some.

Is a Lean-to Conservatory the Best Choice for My Home?

Considering having a lean-to conservatory installed is a big investment and you’ll want to make sure it’s the absolute best choice for yourself and your home before committing to it. We’ve created the below table of advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether or not a lean-to conservatory is right for you.

Advantages Disadvantages
Very cost-effective method of adding a room to your property Usually a limit to their width
Known for their appealing design which makes use of straight lines May require planning permission
Good accessibility Will typically reduce the amount of outdoor space
Works very well for homes with one storey

Building a lean-to conservatory is a very cost-effective method of adding extra room to your property. They are known for their appealing design which makes use of straight lines.

Lean-to conservatories offer a great advantage in how they allow for fluidity of movement throughout the home without increasing the number of storeys. For this reason, they can be a great addition to a bungalow or home that only has one storey.

The main disadvantage of a lean-to conservatory is that there is likely to be a limit to how wide you can build it and it will reduce the amount of outside space you have. While lean-to conservatories don’t usually require planning permission, there are some instances where this is not the case and you should speak with a building regulations official to be sure.

What’s Involved in Installing a Lean-to Conservatory?

Providing your garden or external space is cleared and levelled, ready for building upon, your tradespeople will take the following steps to build your lean to conservatory:

Your base sill will be installed first and will be cut to make room for the door space. The sill will then be fixed once measurements have been taken to ensure accuracy.

The installers can then move on to fitting the windows, for which the window frame will be installed first. Depending on whether your conservatory is full-height or has a dwarf wall, this will vary slightly and require different fittings.

The windows will start at the property wall, and work outwards and corner posts will then be fixed in place.

Ridge assembly is next, followed by ridge capping and roof glazing is then added in.

A downpipe is added in position, and then the installer will move onto any finishings and trims to finalise the installation

How Do I Find and Hire an Installer?

Finding the right builder can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to experts in your area.

Click the button below to tell us more about your project, and we’ll help you find someone quickly and easily:

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One of the best ways to find a competent installer is to ask friends, family and neighbours who have used a similar tradesperson recently if they would recommend their trader. This way, you’re cutting out hours of searching, and you’re more likely to get a legitimate account of what someone’s work ethic is like, instead of just going off what their marketing materials say about them.

You can also take a look at FENSA (approved windows and doors installers), or the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) to find reputable and reliable traders in your area who are qualified to take on the job.

Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit

When it comes to building a structure, you want to ensure you’ve got a qualified professional taking care of the work in a good manner so that you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong. You must check out your trader’s credentials before agreeing to work with them, looking at their experience and past projects to see if they’d be a good fit for your needs.

Take a look at any customer references, get a feel for their work ethic, and look at any photos or videos of their past work to see what sort of finish you can expect.

You’ll want to have a written quote shared with you before any work begins to make sure you’re paying what you expect at the end of the job, and it’s always a good idea to double-check the trader has relevant insurance in place just to keep things covered if anything does go wrong during the job.

Final Checklist

For homeowners wanting to add a little extra space into their home at a fraction of the cost of a standard extension, opting for a lean-to conservatory is a great, cost-effective way to go. Here’s our final checklist for when you want to get going on your project:

  • Decide if a lean-to conservatory is right for you, and settle on your materials and size depending on your budget and style requirements
  • If you can, save up a little longer to get a slightly bigger size conservatory if possible to maximise your return on investment when it comes to selling your property
  • Get a written quote from your trader before you begin work to ensure there are no hidden fees to be aware of
  • Decide on your internal finishings and fixings, such as flooring, walls, lighting and heating, not forgetting about electricity supply, too
  • Enjoy your newly acquired space!

Use HouseholdQuotes to find local builders and potentially save money on your lean-to conservatory.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Lean-to Conservatory?

It’s very rare for planning permission to be required for lean-to-conservatories unless you live in a period house or a designated area. If you are in any doubt, take it up with your local planning authority to find out everything you need to know for your specific case.

Will a Lean-to Conservatory Add Value to My Home?

Yes, lean-to conservatories can add value to your home, making it a great investment for those wanting to sell up in a few years and lose no money on their project. Typically, these styles of conservatories can add around 5% to your property’s value.

Is a Lean-to Conservatory the Cheapest Type of Conservatory?

Lean-to conservatories are the cheapest out of the available conservatory options as they rely on the existing structure of the house to ‘lean’ upon, whereas other models are free-standing and require more structural work, thus raising their prices. While standalone conservatories can potentially add more value to your home, they do come at a higher buy-in cost, so they’re a good option if you can afford them.

How Long Will It Take to Build a Lean-to Conservatory?

You can typically expect a build time of around two to three weeks for a lean-to conservatory, when carried out by professionals.

Ready to start your lean-to conservatory project? We can help!

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Paid educational services. “Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory”

  1. Bachelor’s degree, Specialist’s degree, Postgraduate study, Assistantship – internship, Professional retraining

    Procedure for the provision of paid services

    Undergraduate, Specialist

    Education agreement (foreign citizens)
    Education agreement (foreign citizens, tripartite)
    Education agreement (targeted education)
    Education agreement (specialty)
    Education agreement (specialty, tripartite)

    Professional retraining

    Agreement on education (FVE programs)

    PhD, Assistant – Internship

    Education agreement (postgraduate studies)
    Education agreement (assistant traineeship)
    Education agreement (assistant traineeship, tripartite)

    Undergraduate, Specialist, Postgraduate, Assistant – internship, Professional retraining

    order of the rector of the Conservatory dated September 13, 2016 No. 437-u

    Document confirming the cost of education for each educational program
    2023/2024 academic year

    Undergraduate, Specialist, Postgraduate, Assistant – internship

    order of the rector of the Conservatory dated 10.03.2023 No. 59

    2022/2023 academic year

    Undergraduate, Specialist, Postgraduate, Assistant – internship, Professional retraining

    order of the rector dated 02.08.22 No. 176

    2021/2022 academic year

    Undergraduate, Specialist, Postgraduate, Assistant – internship

    order of the rector dated February 11, 21 No. 34

    2020/2021 academic year

    Undergraduate, Specialist, Postgraduate, Assistant – internship

    order of the rector dated August 25, 2020 No. 196

    2019/2020 academic year

    Undergraduate, Specialist, Postgraduate, Assistant – internship

    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory of May 27, 2019 No. 139
    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory of May 28, 2019No. 141

    2018/2019 academic year

    Undergraduate, Specialist, Postgraduate, Assistantship – internship, Professional retraining

    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory of August 11, 2016 No. 175
    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory of May 19, 2016 No. 106
    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory of 27 .05.2016 No. 120
    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory of May 12, 2017 No. 122
    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory of May 12, 2017 No. 123
    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory of May 30, 2018 No. 148
    Order of the Rector of the Conservatory dated May 30, 2018 No. 149

    Documents establishing the amount of fees charged from parents (legal representatives) for supervision and care
    children mastering educational programs of preschool education in organizations that carry out
    educational activities, for the maintenance of children in an educational organization that implements educational
    programs of primary general, basic general or secondary general education, if in such an educational
    the organization has created conditions for the residence of students in a boarding school, or for the supervision and care of
    children in extended day groups in an educational organization that implements educational programs for elementary
    general, basic general or secondary general education

    The educational organization does not implement educational programs of preschool, primary general, basic general and secondary general education

    Other information

    Monitoring results

    Information about the results of monitoring the cost of paid educational services

    What to correct in the conservatory?

    This summer, the entire ballet troupe of the Conservatory Theater was dismissed in its entirety, led by its leader, the famous choreographer Oleg Vinogradov.

    The theater of the St. Petersburg Conservatory appeared more than half a century ago, its ballet troupe was created by one of the leading choreographers of the 20th century Fyodor Lopukhov. The destruction of the ballet troupe of the only conservatory in the world that has its own theater is not the only problem of this educational institution. We are talking about these problems, which are closely related to the general attitude towards culture that has developed among the Russian authorities, with the famous St. Petersburg composer, People’s Artist of Russia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, Professor of the St. Petersburg Conservatory Sergei Slonimsky , musicologist, professor of the St. Petersburg Academy of Culture Raisa Slonimskaya and chairman of the Union of Composers of St. Petersburg, professor of the St. Petersburg Conservatory Grigory Korchmar . Our conversation took place on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, in Repino, in the House of Composers’ Creativity.

    This summer the entire ballet troupe of the Conservatory Theater was dismissed

    – Sergey Mikhailovich, the first question for you – what do you think is happening with the conservatory? Is this the destruction of her theatre?

    – Prolonged repairs… Three or four years ago, under the previous rector, we were introduced to the heads of repair companies, and we immediately did not like these people. We insisted that repairs should be done in the same way as in the Moscow Conservatory, without closing it, but in stages, floor by floor. But these people resisted like sheep and did not agree, and a year later they were removed. The new repair management announced new deadlines – until the middle of 2019, instead of the beginning of 2017. Here the theater cannot function, because the building has not yet been repaired.

    – What do you think about the dismissal of the ballet troupe?

    – Oleg Vinogradov is our greatest choreographer, and the fact that he is not invited to any theater in the city and country is a shame. It’s simply ridiculous that he stages his performances somewhere in Astrakhan, in Ulan-Ude, and that his name is crossed out even where he is, say, the author of the libretto. In our country, personal scores are so inflamed that it is almost impossible to work.

    In fact, this is what happens: we believe that there is one conductor, one pianist, one violinist, one cellist, and if they are showered with awards and money, then everything will be fine with serious music and everyone should be happy. And then you can send money to Sochi, to Lugansk, to Syria. I don’t mind, but serious music does not consist of one conductor, one pianist, violinist and violist – in a vast country this is a very large number of musicians. And we have two conservatories, ours and the Moscow one, and they should have a special status, secured financially. I am personally satisfied with everything, I have no complaints, I am a patriot of my country and my conservatory, I am not a foreign agent, I spend the summer in Repino, I don’t go abroad, because I am Oblomov by nature. But it’s a shame for the state!

    – Grigory Ovivievich, does the dismissal of the ballet troupe of the Conservatory Theater seem to you something out of the ordinary or an ordinary event?

    – An extraordinary event: to dismiss 80 people en masse, to disband the whole department of the theater – I don’t remember this. The reasons are unknown to me, but the signal is very bad. If this is the beginning of the destruction of the theater, then it is very disappointing: the theater of the conservatory is a theater with history, with great traditions, and people really need it. I myself, when I was ten years old, having arrived from another city, saw the opera for the first time in this theater. This is a wonderful school for future opera singers. Yes, the Mariinsky Theater has an Academy for Young Opera Singers, but who said that two such organizations cannot exist in parallel?

    Now is a difficult time, and we need to preserve what was, what is

    This theater has always had a lot of modern music, a lot of children’s performances. Despite the appalling conditions in which the theater now exists, its choir is in excellent shape. Now is a difficult time, and we need to preserve what was, what is. In this sense, I am a terrible conservative: after all, nothing worthwhile grows in the place of the destroyed.

    – So you have suspicions that the dismissal of the ballet team may be the beginning of the end of the entire theater?

    – This is the Opera and Ballet Theatre, will it now be called the Opera Theatre? Yes, and any opera house always includes ballet, so this is a very disturbing symptom.

    – Raisa Nikolaevna, are you also worried about the situation that has arisen in the Conservatory Theatre?

    Raisa Slonimskaya

    Many modern theaters and movements have their origins in the Conservatory Theater

    – Yes, this is a very painful topic, especially since many modern theaters and movements originate in the Conservatory Theatre. Eifman’s theater began there, it grew out of their studio, I went to all their rehearsals when Eifman staged his “Icarus” to Chernov’s music on the stage of this theater. Premieres, discoveries, the emergence of new talents, the emergence of new names – this is the most valuable thing that needs to be protected and developed. And if it is ruined, then what can be expected in the future?

    – Sergei Mikhailovich, do you also think that the theater may perish? And, in that case, what does that mean?

    – We are in such an unfavorable situation that you never know whether the salary will be paid to the employees of the conservatory itself – this is what we need to talk about, first of all. Professors are paid as much as they can, I have no complaints, but here we have a concert department that works wonderfully, a library where an unknown work by Stravinsky was recently discovered, a manuscript department, there are laboratory assistants, without whom we cannot work, and they receive miserable pennies – ten times less than the salary of any plumber. And they can scatter at any moment, and without them, all our work will stop, and this worries me the most.

    Yes, the ballet dancers complained, but we are reserved people, we only wrote to the president once and asked for a special status for our and Moscow conservatories. For this letter, our rector Alexei Nikolaevich Vasiliev, who wants the best, received a scolding, but for every our critical remark about the leadership (not the conservatory, but higher) for some reason he gets it from the Ministry of Culture. I don’t know anyone there personally, except for the Deputy Minister, Mr. Aristarkhov, who spoke and promised good things, made a good impression.

    You never know if the salary of a conservatory employee will be

    Since 1968, I have known all the ministers of culture, starting with Furtseva. The only minister I never got to know is Mr. Medinsky. He is not interested – and to my health, I did not ask them for anything and did not receive any refusals.

    I really hope that the theater of the conservatory will not become the tenth hall of some other theater and will remain at the conservatory. I would like the experimental part to be strengthened there in the future so that its poster does not duplicate the posters of academic theaters. Although I understand that young artists should be trained there to participate in ordinary performances.

    It’s nothing to be ashamed of if there is a rental in this theater. After all, how does the Moscow Conservatory live? They have a large concert hall, where not only their artists and teachers, but also artists from all over the country perform, and for this they receive a profit that provides ordinary employees of the conservatory. We also had such a source – the theater, and if we lose it, it will be unfair.

    After all, our performing faculties train artists for the whole country, and not just for the Mariinsky Theater or some other one. For example, two orchestras of our Philharmonic are entirely staffed by graduates of our orchestral department, and the Philharmonic understands and appreciates this. And the respected leadership of the country is not aware that in the Philharmonic, both in the large and in the small hall, there is usually always a full house. I am not a monarchist, but I know that the emperor went more to Tchaikovsky’s operas, because he did not like Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky, nevertheless, their compositions were shown at the Mariinsky Theater, and not only the compositions of the chief conductor Napravnik, whom Chaliapin, for example, did not sang.

    Sergei Slonimsky

    Someone thinks: if before the elections we provide four million musicians and pop music, then the whole country will vote properly

    surnames, and even pop music, then the whole country will vote as it should, but this is not at all the case. Modest people who fill the halls of the Philharmonic will not write anywhere. As Timur Shaov sings,

    Give me Grieg, for God’s sake!
    Give us Scarlatti!
    But the evil uncles answer,
    That Scarlatti is not in the format,
    That Grieg has a low rating,
    That he is boring, the right word.
    So let’s listen, children,
    composer Krutoy!

    You know perfectly well that classical music is completely excluded from the main TV channels, it is played only on the Kultura channel. And on the first channels, pop music or such flat jokes sound, from which I blush in my 85 years. And in this I see the cause of our troubles, and not in the fact that some uncle in the ministry does not want to subsidize us. They sincerely think that the population does not need classical music, and this is a huge mistake. Who from childhood learns to play Scarlatti, Weber, Bach, he will never be a terrorist, a hooligan, a bandit.

    Whoever learns to play Scarlatti, Weber, Bach from childhood will never be a terrorist, a hooligan, a bandit

    And our music schools are under threat all the time, although they work very well. And even the opposition media, by the way, are absolutely equal to the official ones in their musical tastes. Several representatives of show business are considered celestials there, and if they think that three notes, three chords and a text pronounced in a whisper and preferably with a mother is avant-garde, then this is just not avant-garde, but sucks!

    – Grigory Ovievich, do you also see a symptom of a general illness in what happened to the Conservatory Theatre?

    – Absolutely. And I want to speak very sharply about the Ministry of Culture, on which we all depend. We are all tired of leapfrog, we are constantly – like the whole country – kept in a state of stress. I am not a supporter of the USSR, and the point is not the sausage for 2.20, but the fact that you come to your native university – and there is a normal curriculum, and it’s very good, progressive, and it was the same yesterday, it’s the same today and tomorrow. And the results were magnificent – our graduates were world famous, the West has always envied our system, so why constantly torment and destroy it? This is felt in everything – in the constant leapfrog and change of leadership, but we have had five rectors in six or seven years!

    But that’s not so bad – why do officials constantly come up with something, reorganize, abolish? Take, for example, the transition to the Bologna system – this also affected us. Now they want to introduce this system here too: bachelor’s degree, master’s degree. There are tragicomic cases. Here is one of the innovations: now a person with any higher education can enter our magistracy. I have a very pretty student with no musical background, and she has to write her dissertation on music! And this is just one of the many insanities.

    Leave us alone – provide at least a minimum and do not interfere

    And then, why keep such a university in a black body? There was a period when the conservatory had nothing to buy powder for a copier, and now there is nothing to make a normal beautiful poster. These are small things, but they add up to the big picture.

    And we don’t need that much money for a normal life. It seems to me that there is just a huge staff in the ministry, and officials, in order to justify their salaries, come up with new systems, breed a wild amount of paperwork, which makes our work terribly difficult. They do not consult with us at all, but I still venture to suggest that the teachers of the conservatory understand more about music than the officials of the ministry. And I feel sorry for our rector – after all, he is a creature of the ministry, he must fulfill all their instructions, but this leads to dissatisfaction among the staff, the chair under him may stagger – and again everything will go in a new circle.

    Leave us alone – provide at least a minimum and do not interfere. It would be nice to hang two posters from the classics at the entrance to the Ministry of Culture: “Do no harm” and “To the doctor – heal yourself.”

    – Raisa Nikolaevna, Sergei Mikhailovich says that a person who studied classical music will not be a terrorist and a bandit. Or maybe he will not vote on orders? Maybe there, at the top, they think: then pop music is better?

    – Pop music is not a novelty and not a discovery, it has always and always fed on classics, serious music. We have a faculty of jazz music at our institute, so they specially come to study the classics. On the other hand, the classics feed on pop – it’s the same as folklore. But when the same thing, the same primitive, is deliberately implanted from channel to channel, this emasculates the pop music itself.

    The Conservatory is a cradle that nourishes everyone, and it should be in a special place. But it’s a terribly difficult thing to become a composer, it takes not a year, not two, not ten – it takes a lifetime. This profession needs constant improvement – why not bring it to a decent level? After all, the whole world is guided by our musical classics, all our teachers and artists have tremendous success abroad, they come from there as laureates of various awards. Why do we lose these successes? It’s good that there are many places to study music, but the conservatory is the cradle that feeds everyone, and it should be in a special place.

    – Grigory Ovievich, you obviously remembered something funny.

    – Yes, there was a charming case with Shostakovich. He was walking down the street, two bastards came out of the gateway: listen, do you want to drink for three? He is a delicate person – he agreed. They began to drink, they ask him: “And what do you work for?” – Composer. “Well, look, if you don’t want to, don’t say.”

    Grigory Korchmar

    – Sergei Mikhailovich, you casually remarked: it would be nice if the Conservatory Theater did not become the tenth hall of another theater – did you mean “Gergiev’s empire”? It’s just that when they did this to a ballet troupe, you involuntarily think: maybe someone liked this building?

    In the West, first of all, classical music performers are valued, not pop music

    – I didn’t mean anything, I’m just saying that all this should belong to the conservatory, and not be bought out by the Mariinsky, Alexandrinsky or any other theater. And if we talk about some kind of Russian idea, about what is valued in the West – it is, first of all, performers of classical music, including Russian, and not pop music – the West has its own stage, and it will be better ours. All the same, our musicals cannot compete with Hollywood and Broadway, but our musicians and conductors are gladly taken to Western symphony orchestras, they succeed there. So we are not working in vain!

    – Grigory Ovievich, do you agree with this? You have already spoken about the contemptuous attitude towards the conservatory…

    – Yes, and I just thought about something – our world has somehow turned upside down. The vast majority of the population that watches the box, listens to pop music, comes to the conclusion that this is music. I would solve the dispute between pop and academic music very simply – even if both exist, but for pop I would come up with some other definition, it cannot be considered music. This applies to all serious art, not only music – it itself seems to become an opposition, like this sensational even before the release of the screens “Matilda”, like Zvyagintsev’s films, when the artist honestly says what he thinks and speaks in a rather complicated language. So, perhaps, classical music will now be the opposition to what is considered – including at the top – music.

    – Raisa Nikolaevna, this is an interesting idea; Do you also think that classical music can become oppositional?

    It is necessary to value the national heritage and not force the conservatory to survive by tying its hands and feet

    – Objectively, this is exactly what happens. We have to defend ourselves and take some measures. For several generations of young people, this is what music means – pop music. All this is so stuck in the teeth, and there is no more bar at all.

    – What can be improved in this conservatory?

    – At least leave it the current status – this is the first Russian conservatory. Appreciate the national heritage and not force the conservatory to survive by tying its hands and feet, not saying: “You must be self-supporting”, having selected all sources of income, not carrying out all these optimizations.

    – Sergei Mikhailovich, did they take something else from the conservatory?

    – Now we don’t have the Glazunov hall – it was in the same building being renovated. I would also illustrate all this with the words of Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, who are never quoted – apparently not by chance. He visited the then musical, Offenbach’s operetta “Beautiful Elena” and immediately wrote that the audience was made up of stockbrokers – these are the current oligarchs.