The St. Petersburg Conservatory was founded in 1862 at the initiative of the renowned pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein. Piotr Tchaikovsky was among its first graduates. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, whose contribution to conservatory life was immense, had a great influence on the department of composition and theory. Currently, the conservatory has six departments: composition and conducting, piano, orchestral instruments, voice and stage directing, musicology, and folk instruments. The departments number some of the world’s most famous artists among their teaching staff. Many graduates are laureates of prestigious international competitions and sought-after performers holding prominent places in the musical world. The conservatory’s pride is the building which was constructed in 1896 especially to fit for the school’s purposes and houses an opera and ballet theatre and the Glazunov Concert Hall. Currently the conservatory employs more than 400 teachers and provides education for over 1300 students.