Siberia may be vast and hostile, but scratch the surface and you’ll find a particularly Russian sense of melancholic romance.

Siberia is often perceived as a frozen wasteland with a bloody past.

But scattered across this sprawling land mass are reminders of its more cultured side.

Pianos. Many of them rare and noteworthy. Brought to the region by governors, exiles and adventurers.

British author Sophy Roberts set off in search of one worthy of Odgerel Sampilnorov, an astonishing pianist she heard play in Mongolia.

Sophy was accompanied by American photographer Michael Turek.

Together they discovered a land of breath-taking extremes.

Sophy also uncovered moving, personal stories – each tied to the pianos she found. They were the complete opposite of the region’s heartless, frigid myth. 

The result is the best-selling book, The Lost Pianos of Siberia.

The paperback edition includes a selection of extraordinary colour images taken by Michael. Below you’ll find the beautifully evocative video he shot of their journey. 

If watching it doesn’t make you want to pull on your snow boots and trudge off deep into the heart of Siberia, we don’t know what will.

The Lost Pianos of Siberia was The Sunday Times 2020 Travel Book of the Year. Order your copy on Amazon or support your local bookstore at

Main image: Sophy Roberts in Siberia (© Michael Turek)