100 Young Russians

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Artyom Zhizhkin, musician

Artyom Zhizhkin, musician

Artyom Zhizhkin, 16, was accepted at Musical School #1841 on one condition: he had to take up the oboe, and only the oboe. It seems that Zhizhkin’s first teacher, Yevgeny Komarov, tested Zhizhkin’s breathing and labial skills and realized he was ideally suited for this melancholy-sounding instrument.

Timur Bashkaev, architect

Timur Bashkaev, architect

The recent exhibition “Arch Moscow” prompted architectural expert Grigory Revzin sound the death knell for the Moscow style of architecture, with its towers and excessive decoration. “…It has finally withered and died,” Revzin wrote. “A new elite is now on the scene…"

Olga Brusnikina, athlete

Olga Brusnikina, athlete

Ten years ago, when journalists asked a Russian synchronous swimmer whether the Russians could ever beat North Americans or the Japanese in this discipline, she quipped: “Only if they all drown.” That was before Olga Brusnikina came on the scene.

Olga Budina, actor

Olga Budina, actor

Olga Budina went down many blind alleys before joining the ranks of Russian cinema stars: she sang in a choir, worked as a school teacher, she sang in a pop group, and even won her city district’s accordion contest (she can interpret Bach on the squeeze box). In fact, the frail Budina still bears a light impression in her skin from the belt of her heavy accordion.

Olga Dergunova, businessperson

Olga Dergunova, businessperson

It cannot be a bad feeling to have the President of Russia tell you “I think you are right” on national television. This was in fact Vladimir Putin’s reply when Olga Dergunova said in a recent televised roundtable that state functionaries’ computer literacy leaves much to be desired.

Tatyana Kalinina, architect

Tatyana Kalinina, architect

At 14, Tatyana Kalinina, the daughter of two architects, wrote a letter swearing she would never follow in the footsteps of her parents. Thankfully, she did not follow through on her oath.

Sergei Krikalyov, cosmonaut

Sergei Krikalyov, cosmonaut

On May 19, 1991, cosmonaut Sergei Krikalyov blasted off for the Mir Space Station for what was supposed to be a 160-day tour. But, while he was aloft, the country which had sent him into space—the Soviet Union—disintegrated.

Alexei Ratmansky, choreographer

Alexei Ratmansky, choreographer

Alexei Ratmansky has been in ballet troupes in Kiev, Canada and Copenhagen. And while he says he is, “of course, Russian,” he also says he really does not feel like he has found his “ballet home” yet.

Arkady Volozh, scientist

Arkady Volozh, scientist

For a scientist who climbed a classic Soviet career ladder, Arkady Volozh has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances and a highly developed flair for new business opportunities.

Valery Bliznyuk, photographer

Valery Bliznyuk, photographer

A love of nature developed in Valery Bliznyuk from an early age. His family lived on Sakhalin—amidst taiga, volcanoes, rivers and lakes—when he was between 3 and 7 years old. Spending such formative years amidst such stark natural beauty, Bliznyuk said, led him to a life as an artist.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

Pysanka: Symbol of Renewal
May 26, 2022 to July 24, 2022

Pysanka: Symbol of Renewal

Museum of Russian Icons | Clinton, MA

Maine-based contemporary artist Lesia Sochor's exhibition inspired by the beautiful tradition of intricately decorated Ukrainian Easter egg painting.

Tea Is For Tradition
February 03, 2022 to October 02, 2022

Tea Is For Tradition

Museum of Russian Icons | Clinton, MA

The objects associated with Russian tea are tactile reminders of this important tradition and evoke warmth, home, and family.

Russian-Language Gallery Tour
February 22, 2022 to February 22, 2032

Russian-Language Gallery Tour

Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY

Russian-language tour exploring our collection in depth, second Sunday of each month at 1 pm. Free, reservations required

A Few of Our Books

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.

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