In the Steppes of Central Asia is the common English title for a 'musical tableau' (or symphonic poem) which Borodin composed in 1880. The work was originally intended to be presented as one of several 'tableaux vivants' to celebrate the silver anniversary of the reign of Alexander II of Russia, who had done much to expand the Russian Empire eastward. The intended production never occurred, but the work itself became, and has remained, a concert favourite ever since its first concert performance in St. Petersburg in 1880. This orchestral work idyllically depicts an interaction of Russians and Asians in the steppe lands of the Caucasus. A caravan of Central Asians is crossing the desert under the protection of Russian troops.