Showing posts from April, 2012

New York applauds Moscow Soloists

Yuri Bashmet and Moscow Soloists

The Moscow Soloists chamber orchestra led by renowned violist and conductor Yuri Bashmet has received a standing ovation in New York at a concert marking the orchestra’s 20th anniversary.

The program included Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” arranged by Gustav Mahler and Brahms’s Quintet for Viola and Strings.

The Moscow Soloists have given more than 2,000 concerts on all five continents over the past two decades.


Exhibition of Anna Akhmatova’s Portraits Opens in Petersburg

Exhibition “Anna Akhmatova. Mythology of Image” has opened in the poetess’ museum in Fontanny House.

It is the first attempt to bring together Akhmatova’s lifetime and posthumous portraits, introducing the image of the poetess as a many-sided and diverse phenomenon of Russian culture. Her image has been immortalized in sculptures, paintings, drawings, photos, arts and crafts, and cinema. Each of these embodiments carried its own truth corresponding to a certain period of life and creativity of the poetess, each of them conveying the features of her poetry and outlook in its peculiar way. 

The visitors of the exhibition will see works by Amedeo Modigliani, Nikolay Tyrsa, Vladimir Favorsky, as well as contemporary artists. ...

Vladimir Odoevsky: Igosha

I came running to the dining-room exactly when father was explaining what had taken him so long to come back home. “The stirrups kept breaking,” he said, “if not the stirrups, the coachman would lose his whip, or the outrunner would break her leg: in other words, out of the frying pan, into the fire! We might as well just have stopped on the side of the road; so I couldn’t help wondering: what if it really is some of Igosha’s frolics?” “Igosha who?” mother asked him. “Listen. In a gully, I stopped to feed the horses; I was cold, so I went inside the house to warm myself up; three coachmen were sitting around the table, with four spoons laid on the table in front of them; whenever they were cutting bread, they put an extra piece right next to the spoon; whenever they treated themselves to a pie, they left some of it on the table as well.” “Who are you saving this all for, good men? You must be waiting for your friend?” I asked. “Friend or no friend, this guy is piece of work – and he doesn…

On the Highest Peak of Russia

On the Highest Peak of Russia: Mercury Tower of the business centre Moscow City is the highest construction in Russia for now. The height from the ground to the top of the crane boom tip is more than 380 m! Inside the post you’ll see one … Read more...

Gallery as art: Moscow ruin lures Rem Koolhaas

A ruined Soviet-era restaurant in Moscow's Gorky Park is to become the unlikely new home for one of Russia's hippest contemporary arts centres: the Garage, founded four years ago by the Russian socialite Dasha Zhukova.
Zhukova and the architect Rem Koolhaas have unveiled plans to bring back to life a 1960s prefabricated concrete building that would normally be pulled down. "It is the most exciting and biggest change the Garage has undergone," said Zhukova, revealing the plans at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts on Friday. "I think it will be one of the greatest examples of contemporary architecture in Moscow." The hunt for a new building began because the lease was ending on the Garage's current home in the constructivist Bakhmetevsky bus garage and the site was due to be developed into a Jewish heritage museum. "Finding it was a random chance," said Zhukova, the partner of billionaire Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich. &quo…

Anna Netrebko 2011 Interview


Russian writing goes down a storm in London

The Russian literary events surrounding the annual London Book Fair (LBF) have become highlights of the capital’s Russophile calendar. There was a particular focus on Russia at last year’s fair, attracting hundreds of readers, writers, bloggers and publishers, and interest is still strong this year. Academia Rossica, which promotes Russian cultural events in the UK, organized a week of films, awards, signings and discussions, billing itself as the Slovo Festival (or the Word Festival).

James Rann, Academia Rossica’s Literary Projects’ Coordinator said this year’s book fair had seen “a marked rise” in the number of people visiting the Read Russia stand. These included several smaller publishers eager to promote their books: new presses like Glagoslav, who have just published a translation of Zakhar Prilepin’s novel Sin, and last year’s winner of the Super National Bestseller Award.
According to Rann, contemporary writing is changing western people’s perceptions of Russian literature, whi…

Unique Photos of the Chernobyl Catastrophe

Unique Photos of the Chernobyl Catastrophe: These photos of the Chernobyl catastrophe have never been published before. They are unique. The author of the photos can be called a hero, what do you think? Location: Chernobyl via antonio-j

Alexander Solzhenitsyn Prize goes to Oleg Pavlov

The ceremony of awarding Alexander Solzhenitsyn Prize, which bears the name of the great writer, thinker, public figure, and a Nobel Prize winner, is being held in Moscow on April 26th for the 14th time now. This year the Alexander Solzhenitsyn prize has been awarded to writer and publicist Oleg Pavlov. The founders of this award stress that this award is given for works in which troubles of the Russian life are shown with rare moral purity. The 42-year-old Oleg Pavlov has received literary prizes in Russia more than once. Earlier he was among the nominees for the Big Book Award and for the National Bestseller Prize, and in 2002 he became the laureate of the Russian Booker Prize. However, there is reason to believe that the Alexander Solzhenitsyn Award matches the spirit of Pavlov’s works more than any other award because all his books are closely linked with Solzhenitsyn’s heritage. “I have always understood Alexander Solzhenitsyn better than other writers because Solzhenitsyn had a st…

Crystal Hall For Eurovision 2012 In Baku

Crystal Hall For Eurovision 2012 In Baku: It’s the main arena for the forthcoming “Eurovision-2012″ contest built on the Square of the State Flag. Officially the construction was over in April, 16th, 2012, currently they are doing finishing works. For some months a German company has built … Read more...

Volodos: Liszt, Dante Sonata I


Retro Postcards of Moscow in 23d century

Retro Postcards of Moscow in 23d century: The futuristic postcards were drawn in 1914, just a few months before World War I broke out. This is how visionaries of the early 20th century portrayed Moscow’s future.

Vissarion Belinsky - Short Biography

The significance of Belinsky and his influence on Russian literature can hardly be overestimated. He did not only show the way for literature to become a public force, but also turned to be a teacher and a leader for the young generation of writers. Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky was born on June 11 [O.S. May 30] 1811 in Sveaborg (nowadays Suomenlinna, Finland) into the family of a naval doctor. Vissarion spent his childhood in Penza. In 1829-1832 he studied at the Philology Faculty of the Moscow University. His youthful ideals brought him to a philosophical circle, among the members of which there were most gifted students, who later became very influential figures of Russian literature and public life. In this circle Belinsky found his friends, who sympathized with him and shared his aspirations. They were Alexander Herzen, Nikolay Ogarev, and many others. The evolution of Belinsky’s views was accompanied with the strengthening of his critical attitude to philosophical idealism, and r…

Shall We Serve It With Ice or Yakut Kingdom of Permafrost

Shall We Serve It With Ice or Yakut Kingdom of Permafrost: 30 km from Yakutsk there is a mirror-world with temperature -14C, a cool ice museum. Vodka in an ice cup with sliced frozen meat welcome you. It must be the best Yakut tradition! Empty icy caves… Throne room of a … Read more...

Andrey Bely: Alone

To S. L. Kobilinsky

The windows steamed up.
In the yard the moon hangs.
And you stand aimlessly
before the window.

The wind dies down arguing
with the row of gray birches.
There has been much sorrow...
There have been many tears...

Before you arises involuntarily
the row of abandoned years.
The heart is pained; it hurts.
I am all alone. December 1900

Lenin still wanted and translated

Russian is not “lost in translation”. On the contrary, it appears to be one of the most popular and translated languages in the world, with thanks in part to the rich heritage of the Father of the Bolshevik Revolution, Vladimir Lenin. According to the Unesco Index Translatonium, an electronic database that numbers over two million entries concerning 500,000 authors in 148 countries, the revolutionary Soviet leader is  among the top five most translated authors in the world, along the likes of William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and Stephen King. According to the data collected since 1979, Lenin's works have not exceeded their sell-by-date yet. Apart from the key Soviet communist, the list of the world’s most translated authors also features several more “fathers”, the "Father of Science Fiction", Jules Verne, as well as Pope John Paul II, ranked 22nd. This year UNESCO marks the 80th anniversary of its Index Translatonium containing information about published translations …

Lomonosov Moscow State University As It Was In 1956

Lomonosov Moscow State University As It Was In 1956: Building of the University Lecture Russian and Chinese students at the lectures University library Tea and cake break In a dormitory room Cooking in the dormitory Getting ready for exams Location: Moscow via humus

Stalin Buses to be Launched in 40 Former Soviet Cities


Slums of Astrakhan

Slums of Astrakhan: Astrakhan is an amazing city where details of the past are neighbouring with the present. Right in the centre of the city there is a residential area that rather resembles decorations for some old movie. Some houses are abandoned, others … Read more...

Internet censorship ‘useless’ - Medvedev

In his latest video blog entry, President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia would never censor the internet, but urged law enforcers to find and punish those who distribute slander or hate materials, or child pornography. Medvedev stressed that he was not talking about internet censorship as such a thing was “impossible and simply senseless”but urged stronger punishment for spreading deliberately false reportsespecially if such information could damage someone’s honor, dignity or business reputation. The president also promised stronger punishment for spreading child pornography and promoting terrorism, national or religious feuds. In addition, Medvedev called upon internet users to help make the Russian power system more transparent and efficient. The outgoing Russian head of state said that “No one but us ourselves will make Russia better.” “Counting on bureaucrats’ omnipotence and universal knowledge means a lenient attitude to office-connected crimes. In the modern world that is complex …

Fyodor Sologub - Biografy and Poem Wine and Joy

Fyodor Sologub (Fyodor Kuzmich Teternikov) was born in Petersburg into the family of a tailor and a peasant. Until 1907 he worked as a teacher of mathematics and then as a school inspector. He was a member of a circle of symbolist poets. As Alexander Blok pointed out, the subject of Sologub’s poetry was “the soul refracting the world inside it, rather than the world refracted in the soul”. Grandiloquent surges peculiar to the symbolist poetry of that time for Sologub were impregnated with bitterness of the sufferings of poverty that he had endured. The summit of Sologub’s prose writing is his famous novel The Petty Demon written in 1902 and published in 1907. The creation of this novel determined Sologub's further destiny: he got an opportunity to retire and devote his life to literary work. He started to write the novel Navyi Charms. The years 1910-1912 saw the publication of Sologub's Collected Works in twelve volumes. The writer also made lots of translations. Fyodor Sologub d…

In the Region of Deer

In the Region of Deer: Yamal is often called the region of deer, though in translation it means “The end of the world”. It is inhabited by representatives of the ancient people who’ve been keeping traditions from time immemorial. Nenets are the main settlers of … Read more...

Publishing in Russia 2012: Krasnoyarsk Fair: Reading Deep in Siberia

When the first Krasnoyarsk Book Culture Fair was held in 2007, there were no overseas attendees in sight. In fact, there were only 63 local exhibitors, including 45 publishing houses. Still, 10,000 visitors attended the midwinter event, for which exhibitors trucked in nearly 10 metric tons of books. Fast forward to November 2–6, 2011: the fair attracted 215 exhibitors (125 publishers), 36 overseas visitors, and more than 40,000 people. At least 60 metric tons of books were displayed throughout an exhibition space that, at 6,595 square meters, had more than doubled that of 2007. The Israeli Cultural Centre, Goethe-Institut, and the embassies of France and the Czech Republic took part in the fair. Frido Mann, Vladimir Tarasov, Jose Antonio Tassies, Arturo Valenis, Kerry Shawn Keys, and Gerardo Beltran were among the famous writers, poets, and artists present. (Four years earlier, the biggest names at the fair were Russian writers Vladimir Sorokin and Victor Erofeev.) More than 170 events…

Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin: In the mental institution

“Are you saying that I am deranged?” I burst out in terror. “Yes, and you have to know that. Modern methods of treatment are such that to begin with, the patient must help the doctor in his efforts. And this can only be accomplished providing the patient fully acknowledges what his illness consists of, and do all that he can to eliminate things that can contribute to its development.” “Doctor! I do not know how, nor for what reason I got here, but in any case, I consider it my duty to protest. I see myself as mentally disabled as you do yourself. I protest.” “Yes, I know that you constitute yourself as healthy. I have been practicing medicine nearly twenty years and have never come across a single mental patient who was not convinced he was in good health. It is a common rule, from which an exemption only those people who are affected by brain paralysis. They are the only ones who do not protest, and certainly they don’t, only because they are unable to even formulate any sort of protest…

How Filimonov Toys Survive

How Filimonov Toys Survive: Now goes the story about one folk craft that would die if a small group of enthusiasts don’t sustain it. Konstantin and Elena Kekhaidi have been producing Filimonov clay toys for 30 years. They say the craft is 700 years … Read more...

Easter celebrations in Russia

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Easter Service in Cathedral of Christ the Savior (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)
Easter Service in Cathedral of Christ the Savior (RIA Novosti / Sergey Pyatakov)
Easter Service in Cathedral of Christ the Savior (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)
Easter Service in Cathedral of Christ the Savior (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)
Easter Service in Cathedral of Christ the Savior (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)
Easter Service in Cathedral of Christ the Savior (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)
Easter Service in Cathedral of Christ the Savior (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)
Easter Service in Cathedral of Christ the Savior (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)

Vladislav Khodasevich : The Swallows

If you have eyes - through day you'll see a night
the rays from that inflaming disk won't reach.
A pair of swallows fighting to escape
flap at the window, where they feebly cheep.
But that transparent yet unyielding sheet
was never cut by wings, however sharp;
no darting that way out into the blue,
with any tiny wing, or captive heart.
Until the blood issues from every pore,
until you've wept away your earthly sight,
you can't become a spirit. Wait, and stare
at how a splash of light won't hide the night.
Translated from russian byPeter Daniels
The original text of the poem «The Swallows»