Russia is one of the heavyweights when it comes to cultural depth. The sheer scale of writers that this nation has produced in the last couple of centuries easily matches the vast size of the country itself.
Having played an influential part in the history of Europe, Russia has a rich literary history that includes some of the best known writers in the world. These include Tolstoy, Stanislavski, Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov and Nikolai Gogol among others. Their works reflect the issues that Russia has grappled with over the past century and a half. Writers who continued writing under the Soviet government include two Nobel laureates Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Boris Pasternak. Solzhenitsyn, the author of the Gulag Archipelago and Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago, tell of the great trials suffered by ordinary Russians in this period. Post-soviet Russia saw new talent emerge in the forms of Boris Akunin, Lyudmila Ulitskaya and science fiction writer Sergey Lukyanenko.
Producing early hits like Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin and Aleksandr Nevsky as well as Dziga Vertov's innovative film Man With a Movie Camera from 1929, Russian cinema certainly isn’t lacking. Nikita Mikhalkov is a modern filmmaker who won both the Grand Prix in Cannes as well as an Academy Award in 1994 for Burnt By The Sun and is a good place to start to get into modern Russian cinema.
Musically, Russia has in the last couple of years seen itself mainly represented by names such as pop-sensation t.A.T.u, rock-singer Zemfira and Eurovision song-contest winner Dima Bilan, but it is in classical music that Russia has made its most famous impact on the world. Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev as well as St. Petersburg-born Shostakovich are among the elite of Russian classical music and in more recent years opera singer Anna Netrebko has impressed audiences all over the world with her voice.
The Russian National Tourist Office organises tourism from the UK to Russia for individual tourists, groups and business travellers.