Sophy Roberts

The Lost Pianos of Siberia

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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. Debut author Sophy Roberts tells us how she spent years crisscrossing the harsh landscape of Siberia, tracking the stories of both impressive grand pianos, evoking the boom years of the nineteenth century, as well as humble, Soviet-made uprights. She asks how they got there – a testament to noble acts of fortitude by governors, adventurers and exiles – and how they survived the hostile conditions of this snow-bound wilderness. Through them, she traces the inspiring story of how music endures under the least auspicious of circumstances.

An extraordinary, cadenced journey into music, exile and landscape” – Edmund de Waal

About the author: Sophy Roberts is a British writer whose work focuses on the wild places from Papua New Guinea to the Congo. She began her career assisting the writer Jessica Mitford, and trained in journalism at Columbia University in New York. She regularly contributes to the Financial Times and the US edition of Condé Nast Traveler, among others. The Lost Pianos of Siberia is her first book. 

In conversation with Sheena McDonald

In association with the charity StageTEXT, this event will include live surtitles for people with hearing loss.

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Supported by The Castansa Trust.