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Russian culture facts

As a nation, Russia has produced more than its fair share of great artists, writers, composers and many others who have left their indelible mark on the world’s cultural heritage. Here are some Russian culture facts from this rich past that you may not be aware of.

Literature’s Boom period began in the 19th century

The period from 1830 onwards is often referred to as the ‘Golden Age’ of Russian literature. From this point, some of the great names emerged, the first of whom was the poet Alexander Pushkin. Shortly afterwards, great authors such as Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky had their first works published.

Russian authors were inspired by the political situation

For from shying away from the political conditions in early 20th century Russia, the situation proved to be an inspiration for many. Mikhail Bulgakov was renowned for his allegorical stories which mirrored the rise of the Soviet Union.

However, one of the most famous authors from this period was severely punished for daring to raise his voice. Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born in the early days of Soviet Russia back in 1918. Throughout his life he was a tireless voice against the regime and was incarcerated in one of Stalin’s infamous labour camps as a result. It was this experience however that inspired him to write his most famous work – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

Russia is home to some of the World’s Greatest Composers

It shouldn’t really be a surprise but many people outside Russia are still unaware of the origin of some of the world’s most famous composers.

Tchaikovsky was Russian, having been born in Votkinsk in the former Russian Empire in 1840. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was also Russian, having been born just four years later than Tchaikovsky in Tikhvin near Saint Petersburg.

The second half of the nineteenth century was therefore a golden era for Russian Classical Music with Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky at the forefront while they were joined by many other famous composers including Alexander Borodin, Cesar Cui and Anton Arensky.

The Bolshoi Ballet grew from a Moscow Orphanage

Dancers from a Moscow orphanage were recruited by Prince Pyotr Urusov and Michael Maddox to appear in their new theatre company. They acquired the Petrovsky Theatre which was subsequently destroyed and later rebuilt as the world famous Bolshoi Theatre.

In the early days of its existence, the Bolshoi theatre company struggled to compete with the successes of the Imperial Russian Ballet but in time, they grew to outshine their rivals and become the lasting success that we see today.

The Present day

To this very day, Russia still producers some of the best musicians, dancers, actors and artists covering a whole range of different genres. The rich Russian past is still influencing many of these people today.

Further reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading these Russian culture facts, there is an almost endless range of books covering the life and careers of the individuals that make up this cultural heritage.

Amazon is a good place to start when seeking out this extra reading material.

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