Articles by Sophia Kishkovsky



Artist Hub Turns Into Beverly Hills

  • 20 December 06
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
The statue of Friedrich Engels that graces one of central Moscow's most prestigious neighborhoods has not been of much use to any but pigeons in recent years.

Chanson: Notes From a Musical Underground

  • 20 July 06
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
It's another busy night at the noisy Casino de Paris here in Moscow, a grown-up post-Soviet Disneyland where burly men with expensive cell phones, their dolled-up companions and aging, wide-eyed foreigners play blackjack amid swirls of cigar smoke and snifters of cognac.

TV Extravaganza of Music! Comedy! Police! FSB!

  • 29 December 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Time and again, a phenomenon unfolds on television. Stiff-faced bureaucrats pack a huge concert hall, and after a speech by a leading Kremlin official -- often President Vladimir Putin himself -- the show begins.

Flush With Cash, Moscow Splashes Out on Toilets

  • 27 September 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
In the heart of the city, just around the corner from the Kremlin, Cafe Freud offers insights into one of the most prominent manifestations of post-Soviet Russia: ornate, over-the-top bathrooms.

Bolshoi Will Close for Repairs on July 1

  • 09 March 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
The main building of the historic Bolshoi Theater will close on July 1 for a long-anticipated reconstruction.

A Choreographer's Murky Disappearance

  • 16 February 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Business, not ballet, took Dmitry Bryantsev, a leading Russian choreographer, to Prague, Czech Republic, last summer. And it may have gotten him killed.

Kremlin Hand Seen in Trepashkin's Case

  • 15 December 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Tatyana and Alyona Morozov hired a former state security agent to represent their interests in the trial of two men accused of transporting explosives used in the bombing of a Moscow apartment in 1999 that killed dozens of people, including their mother.

Khodorkovsky's New Civilization

  • 30 December 03
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Outside, Arctic darkness envelops the mountains, but inside, a video of bikini-clad Beyonce blasts on a big screen in this northern mining town, and members of the New Civilization youth movement are discussing their latest project.

Apartment Show Answers the Decorating Craze

  • 14 October 03
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
So they volunteered for a makeover, participating in a pivotal stage in Russia's capitalist evolution: the home-improvement craze.

It's Over Before Bolshoi Lady Dances

  • 18 September 03
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
One of the country's best-known ballerinas and celebrities has been fired by the Bolshoi Theater after a war of insults more reminiscent of a family feud than a pas de deux.

Everywhere in Honor of Peter's 300th

  • 25 April 03
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
The race to prepare St. Petersburg for its 300th-birthday bash can compare only to Peter the Great's rush to build an exquisite imperial capital of palaces and canals atop a forbidding swamp.

Everywhere in Honor of Peter's 300th

  • 25 April 03
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
The race to prepare St. Petersburg for its 300th-birthday bash can compare only to Peter the Great's rush to build an exquisite imperial capital of palaces and canals atop a forbidding swamp.

A Dreaded Call: A Hole in the Art

  • 20 December 02
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
In February 2001, Tatyana Popova received the late-night phone call every museum curator dreads. Somewhere on the way from the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Rembrandt's ""Portrait of an Elderly Woman"" received a gash nearly 8 by 3.5 centimeters wide in the bottom right corner.

Soviet Rights Activist Velikanova Dead at 70

  • 18 October 02
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Tatyana Velikanova, a Soviet human rights activist who was a leading editor of the most important samizdat journal of human rights abuses and spent nearly nine years in prison camp and exile, died of cancer on Sept. 19. She was 70 and lived in Moscow.

Bards Star at Woodstock on Volga

  • 06 September 00
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
MOSCOW — A sea of music fanatics and thrill-seekers drink and sway blissfully to songs of peace and love in a muddy field. It could be a Grateful Dead concert, or Woodstock just half a world away. Call it Woodstock on the Volga. Every summer, thousands of Russians make the journey to the Grushinsky Festival, known as Grusha, held on a riverbank between two cities, Samara and Tolyatti, Russia's auto industry center. The festival celebrates bard music, a genre identified with the Soviet cultural thaw of the 1960s and the subsequent growth and popularity of allegorical songs as a creative and spiritual outlet. Today conditions are different, but the songs of contemporary bard musicians seem to serve a similarly comforting purpose. Various theories trace the origins of bard music to Soviet prison camp songs, soldiers' ballads, pre-revolutionary romances and even the songs of the wandering minstrels of centuries ago.

Land of Gulag or Land of Culture?

Pushkin's Country Estate Still Inspires Visitors