The Lost Pianos of Siberia

The Lost Pianos of Siberia


2020, , Nonfiction, Travel, History, Cultural, Music

Siberia’s story is traditionally one of exiles, penal colonies and unmarked graves. Yet there is another tale to tell.

Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos – grand instruments created during the boom years of the nineteenth century, and humble, Soviet-made uprights that found their way into equally modest homes. They tell the story of how, ever since entering Russian culture under the influence of Catherine the Great, piano music has run through the country like blood.

How these pianos travelled into this snow-bound wilderness in the first place is testament to noble acts of fortitude by governors, adventurers and exiles. That stately instruments might still exist in such a hostile landscape is remarkable. That they are still capable of making music in far-flung villages is nothing less than a miracle.

But this is Siberia, where people can endure the worst of the world — and where music reveals a deep humanity in the last place on earth you would expect to find it.

Title:The Lost Pianos of Siberia
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    The Lost Pianos of Siberia Reviews

  • Christine

    Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley There is something about Siberia that does stir the imagination. The ice, the snow, the tigers all of the above, you know. Perhaps it is the survival of people who survi...

  • Eleanor

    (3.5) RTC.Roberts is a travel writer whose work has been published in the FT and in Condé Nast Traveler; this is her first book, and takes the form of a quest. On her travels, she has met a world-cla...

  • Jonathan Slaght

    Absolutely intoxicating. Such vivid detail, rich atmosphere, and heartbreak. Some cherished and some neglected, these pianos tell of the musical colonization of a continent, and their stories sing....

  • Leo

    For fans of the Hare with the Amber Eyes...

  • Ian Smith

    THE LOST PIANOS OF SIBERIA by Sophy Roberts Review by Ian SmithWhat could this book really be about I wondered. Surprisingly, its about the lost pianos of Siberia BUT, if you think it wouldnt interes...

  • Susan

    This is a quirky, beautifully written book full of wonderful descriptions of the landscape, plants, animals and people who populate Siberia, and a fascinating history of the whole vast region, not onl...

  • Sarah Simms

    Generally I only read travel literature if Im journeying there and want to know more about the history or culture that I might have missed. Ive never been to Russia - nor have any particular plans to ...

  • Mandy

    Great book. Original, absorbing, wide-ranging and entertaining. A must-read for any Russophile. I love these byways of history, the stories you never expect, could never even imagine. A detective tale...

  • Kate

    Recommended by editor 2019 picks...