March/April 2002

Features in this Issue

100 Young Russians to Watch

This is the eighth article in our nine-part series: 100 Young Russians to Watch. In this issue we present ten notable individuals—from a chocolatier to a public defender, from an actor and a border guardian to an art dealer and a TV personality ... All personify the sort of excellence and hope which embody a positive Russian future.

The Magical Izba

Awash in symbolism and oozing with history, the izba – peasant hut – is a window on the Russian soul. Rituals, customs and beliefs, as well as the sometimes elaborate decoration of the izba, reflected the many meanings and functions its inhabitants attached to it.

Artists' Colony

Just outside Moscow lies the secluded, serene Abramtsevo estate. But the calm here belies an amazing history: a century ago, this was the gathering place for some of Russia's greatest artistic talents, from painting and theater, to architecture and literature.

Departments and More

  • Editorial

    Rubbing Elbows With the Stars?

    Some Russian Life readers have suggested that we need to avoid the “glitterati” in our series on “100 Young Russians To Watch” – we should write less about ballerinas and cinema stars.  I partially agree.

  • 5

    Letters to the Editor

    Readers comment and correct.

  • 14
    Travel Notes

    Travel Notes

    The latest from the travel front.

  • 8
    Note Book


    All the news that fits from all across Russia.

  • 16
    Russian Calendar


    Includes extended stories on Vladimir Makanin, Valentin Rasputin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Stanislav Neygauz, Bella Akhmadulina and Andrei Tarkovsky.

  • Russian Calendar

    Perfect, Unexpected Rhymes

    April 10 is poet Bella Akhmadulina’s 65th birthday (born 1937). A graduate of the Literary Institute (1960), Akhmadulina belongs to the shestidesyatniki (“60s”)—those Russian poets whose stars rose in the 1960s.

  • 16
    Russian Calendar

    World Citizen

    Cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich (1927) turns 75 on March 27. Born in Baku (capital of Azerbaidzhan), Rostropovich took his first music lessons from his father—a teacher at the Baku Conservatory.

  • 16
    Russian Calendar

    "Time Will Show"

    April 4th would have been the 70th birthday of Russia’s best-known contemporary film director, Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986).

  • 16
    Russian Calendar

    No Space for an Apple to Fall

    Pianist Stanislav Neygauz (1927-1980) was born on March 8, seventy-five years ago. Relatives of the musician recall how a young Neygauz would play for up to 12 hours, until his fingers would bleed, so inspired and obsessed was he with his music.

  • 16
    Russian Calendar

    Two Great Writers

    Two great modern Russian writers turn 65 in March: Vladimir Makanin celebrates his birthday on the 13th, Valentin Rasputin on the 15th.

  • Russian San Francisco

    Ever since the late 18th-century, when Russian fur trappers from Alaska first hunted along North America’s Pacific coast, there has been a Russian presence in Northern California.

  • 32
    Survival Russian

    Animal Instincts

    What does a rooster say in Russian? How about a pig or a horse? It's all here in this issue's Survival Russian.

  • 54

    Pozharskiye Kotlety

    A legendary dish made for an unexpected visit of a tsar to a way station, this has since become a favored dish of many Russian restaurants.

  • 64
    Post Script

    Requiem for an Eyesore

    A personal reflection on the many storied Intourist hotel, a Moscow landmark and eyesore.

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