I wrote before about how stunningly beautiful the Moscow Metro is. Take for instance the Komsomolskaya station (you can read about it in my post “A Museum with Two BILLION Visitors“). But did you know that Russia’s capital city metro can also be entertaining?
Street musicians are a common sight in metros around the world, but the Moscow underground took it one step further and created special places where these artists can perform without impeding the flow of people, even at rush hour. These spots are clearly marked and they are placed in such a way that a small crowd can assemble and enjoy the music for a few minutes without creating a bottle neck for the passengers who are in a hurry. Some of these musicians are really good and they’ve become habitué of various stations where they perform and often sell their own CDs or publicise their social media presence. The girl playing the accordion you see in the above picture, for instance, is rather well known and there are quite a few YouTube videos with her music performed in the metro, such as this one. You can also look for the official hashtag #музыкавметро (music in the metro) that is painted on the designated spots and find other artists on-line.
The “metro music spot” pictured above is in the passage that connects three metro stations: Chekhovskaya on the Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya (Grey) Line, Tverskaya on the Zamoskvoretskaya (Green) Line, and Pushkinskaya on the Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya (Purple) Line. The latter of the three is also the busiest line of the Moscow Metro. It is, therefore, easy to understand why it is a highly sought after spot.
I also really like that one of the granite murals on the Chekhovskaya station platform depicts a violin, from the short story “Rothschild’s Violin” by Anton Chekhov. I feel that it creates a connection between the author (after which the station is named) and the music being played every day just a few meters away. The famous Russian composer and pianist Dmitri Shostakovich liked this story so much that he convinced Veniamin Fleishman to compose an opera by the same name based on it.
If you are planning to visit Moscow and you’d like a tour of the best metro stations, to discover their beauty and their history in the company of a photographer and a native speaker (myself and my wife), do get in touch and we’ll make this plan come to life!