Professional musical art in Tatarstan began to form in the end of the first quarter of the XX century. Before that time Kazan - a large principal town of a province and one of the most developed economic, scientific and cultural centers of Russia of those days - didn't have even a regular musical theatre. Kazan citizens got acquainted with classical music in a different way - travelling opera companies and orchestras were a great success performing on stages of the city.
Since 1920, when the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was formed, the rise of national musical art has begun. The Opera and Ballet Theatre, a conservatory, a philharmonic were opened, the Union of Composers was created in Tatarstan. Marches and songs by Salih Saidashev, one of the founders of professional Tatar music, compositions by N.Zhiganov, F.Yaroullin, M.Mouzaffarov, Z.Khabiboullin, A.Klucharev, R.Yakhin, A.Leman, A.Bakirov, I.Shamsoutdinov, S.Goubaidoullina and others testify to the high level of Tatarstan composers.
Kazan State Conservatory was opened in 1945 and since then it has trained a great number of musicians, opera, and ballet soloists.
The largest center of Tatar national music is the Jalil Opera and Ballet Theatre. A professional Tatar musical theatre started in 1939 when the opera "Kachkyn" ("The Runaway") by N.Zhiganov was staged, though the first attempts to create national opera were made in 1920s (musical plays "Saniya" and "Ashche" by G.Almoukhamedov, S.Gabashi, I.Vinogradov).
The Republic pays much attention to the development of musical art. More than 30 music schools, a musical college, the Conservatory are functioning in Kazan. Their students and graduates regularly win prizes in All-Russia and international festivals and contests. Musical festivals organized in Tatarstan, such as the Chaliapin International Festival of Opera Art, the Nuriev International Festival of Classic Ballet, the International Festival of Modern Music "Europe-Asia" are well-known in Russia and abroad. Tours of musical collectives from Tatarstan are a great success, and works of Tatar composers find admirers far beyond the borders of the Republic.