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Lost Pianos of Siberia, The: A far-flung search for Russia's remarkable survivors

Author:
Roberts, Sophy

ISBN:
978 0 85752 495 9
Format:
Paperback
Pages:
384
List price(s):
12.99 GBP

Publication date:
18 April 2019

Short description: 

In the late 1700s Catherine the Great embraced the craze for pianos that had swept western Europe since the 1500s, but had barely made an impact in Russia. Fusing nature writing, travelogue and memoir, The Lost Pianos of Siberia is an original, lyrical exploration of the mysterious allure of one of the most remote places on earth.

Full description: 

In the late 1700s Catherine the Great embraced the craze for pianos that had swept western Europe since the 1500s, but had barely made an impact in Russia. Her influence on musical culture was significant and production of pianos moved eastwards from London, Paris and Vienna to Moscow and St Petersburg, where thousands of exquisite grands were manufactured. These pianos made their way throughout the Russian Empire, ending up in far-flung, exotic and unexpected locations, including Siberia. Covering a ninth of the world's landmass, Siberia has long held meaning for travellers - a hostile, snow covered landscape beneath which lies prehistoric animals preserved in permafrost; a juncture between east and west where armies set up forts to secure the huge swathes of land; a land still inhabited by wild tigers, bears and leopards, connected to the rest of Russia by the Trans-Siberian Railway. And peppered throughout this much-maligned expanse are pianos. Sophy Roberts weaves together the story of these forgotten and lost instruments - languishing in the vast landscape - with the history of Siberia, its people and its musical legacy. Fusing nature writing, travelogue and memoir, The Lost Pianos of Siberia is an original, lyrical exploration of the mysterious allure of one of the most remote places on earth.

Biography: 

Sophy Roberts is an award-winning journalist based in England whose work focuses on 'the wild places', from Papua New Guinea to Central Africa. She began her career assisting the writer Jessica Mitford, and trained in journalism at Columbia University in New York, and, for ten years, was editor-at-large for the US edition of Departures magazine. She is currently special correspondent for the US edition of Conde Nast Traveler.

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