Image - detail of a piano

Past Event

Sophy Roberts: The Lost Pianos of Siberia

Haven't had the opportunity for adventurous travel recently? Then join us for a virtual conversation with remote travel writer Sophy Roberts, direct from London, about her first book: The Lost Pianos of Siberia.

Although Siberia’s story is usually one of exile, penal colonies and unmarked graves, there is another tale to tell about one of our planet's harshest landscapes. Dotted throughout this remote land are many pianos―grand instruments created during the boom years of the 19th century, as well as humble, Soviet-made uprights. These pianos bear witness to the enthusiasm with which Russians have taken to piano music ever since Catherine the Great's westernizing influences introduced it to Russian culture.

Follow Roberts as she tracks pianos and their histories through a desolate land inhabited by wild tigers and deeply shaped by its dark history—from the piano that Maria Volkonsky, wife of an exiled Decembrist revolutionary, used to spread music east of the Urals, to those that brought reprieve to the Soviet gulag. That these pianos 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 miraculous.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

MLF: Humanities

This program is free, though we invite you to make a donation during registration

This program will be online-only; pre-register to receive for a link to the program

Copies of Roberts' book can be purchased during registration (for shipment to domestic U.S. addresses only)

Photo by Michael Turek

August 27, 2020

United States

Image - Sophy Roberts
Sophy Roberts
Author, The Lost Pianos of Siberia
Image - George Hammond
In Conversation With George Hammond
Author, Conversations With Socrates

10–11 a.m. (Pacific time) program