The Leningrad Rock Club in St Petersburg: From Memory to Cultural Heritage




musical heritage, late Soviet rock music, Leningrad Rock Club, St Petersburg, heritage studies


Over the last 30 years, the popular musical past has become a subject of interest for researchers in many social sciences and the humanities, from cultural geography and cultural sociology to urban studies and public history. Popular music is regarded not only as a significant part of national and regional cultural history, but also as an important element of the urban cultural heritage. The revision of both the content and the very concept of cultural heritage is associated with large-scale changes in the humanities and social sciences that occurred in the second half of the twentieth century and influenced the transformation of historical politics in many cities, regions, and countries. In Russia, a diverse and rich musical past, related to the history of late Soviet popular and rock music, has only recently begun to be studied and represented in the urban space. The article discusses the ways of authorising the musical heritage associated with the history of the Leningrad Rock Club in contemporary St Petersburg. The research is based on field data collected in 2020–2021: in-depth and spontaneous interviews with musicians participating in the Leningrad Rock Club, rock journalists, employees of the Pushkinskaya, 10 Art Centre and the Kamchatka Rock Club-Museum, and field observations during guided tours of rock-related places in St Petersburg and exhibitions dedicated to the history of Leningrad rock. The author proposes to consider the urban musical heritage in St Petersburg self-authorised. The examples studied in the article are initiatives of the predominantly St Petersburg rock community of musicians, journalists, and city activists. Its key forms are excursions, installation of memorial plaques and signs, temporary exhibitions, and opening of a museum dedicated to the history of Leningrad rock music based on the Pushkinskaya, 10 Art Centre. Despite the traditional format of representing the memory of the musical past, the organisers do not seek to designate the musical places of modern St Petersburg in terms of “authorised heritage discourse” but gravitate toward a less formal conversation and representation of this past.

Author Biography

Alexandra Kolesnik

PhD (History), Senior Researcher, HSE University.

20, Myasnitskaya Str., 101000, Moscow, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0002-2690-1048


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How to Cite

Kolesnik, A. (2023). The Leningrad Rock Club in St Petersburg: From Memory to Cultural Heritage. Quaestio Rossica, 11(4), 1338–1354.



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