Georgy Alexandrovich Tovstonogov (28 September 1915 – May 23, 1989) was a Russian theatre director, the leader of Saint Petersburg Bolshoi Academic Theatre of Drama (formerly Gorky Theater), which now bears his name.
Georgy Tovstonogov was born in Tbilisi, Russian Empire (now Georgia), or in St. Petersburg on September 28, 1915, to a Russian noble and a Georgian classical singer Tamara Papitashvili.
In 1938 he graduated from the State Institute of Theatrical Art in Moscow. From 1938 to 1946, he worked as a director in the Tbilisi Griboedov Theater, from 1946 to 1949 in the Central Children's Theater in Moscow, from 1950 to 1956 in the Leningrad Leninsky Komsomol Theater, and from 1956 until his death in 1989 in the Bolshoi Academic Gorky Theater. He was a professor at the Leningrad Institute for Theatre, Music and Cinema since 1960. In 1957 he became a People's Artist of the USSR. He won the Stalin Prize thrice (1950, 1952, 1956), and got two Orders of Lenin and many other Soviet awards. In 1972, he produced the book The Profession of the Stage-Director, which is the best example of his directing style, and in which he shares his honest opinions on Lee Strasberg and Konstantin Stanislavsky. On May 23, 1989 Tovtonogov died of heart attack in his car returning home after general rehearsal of his new production The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt.
The State Museum of City Sculptures was founded in 1932 dedicated to the study, restoration and protection of city sculptures and gravestones and the museum is responsible for the upkeep of many of St Petersburg's most famous sculptures. The museum has several branches around St Petersburg, but the main ones are concentrated within the former territory of the Aleksandro-Nevsky Lavra which was granted to the museum upon its founding.
The Aleksandro-Nevsky Lavra's Tikhvinskoe Cemetery was established in 1823 and named after the Our Lady of Tikhvin Church which was built here between 1869 and 1873. In 1931 the church was closed and in 1932 the cemetery became a branch of the State Museum of City Sculptures, known as the Necropolis of Masters of Culture. The branch is so named as many leading figures of Russian culture have been laid to rest here including: writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Karamzin and Ivan Krylov; composers Aleksandr Borodin, Mikhail Glinka, Modest Musorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Pyotr Tchaikovsky; and artists Boris Kustodiev, Ivan Kramskoy and Ivan Shishkin, among many more famous names.