The program kicked off at 8:14 p.m. Russian time.
It will air in the United States on NBC at 7:30 p.m. EST.
"Most of the ceremony focuses heavily on Russian classical music," Konstantin Ernst, the main creative producer of the ceremony, said in a statement before the event. "Unfortunately, unlike London, we cannot boast a plethora of famous world-known pop performers. This is why we are now focusing on what Russia is best known for musically around the world; namely, classical music."
CNN said about 40,000 people watched the event from the stands at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.
Russian classical music star Anna Netrebko sang the Olympic anthem and dancers from the Bolshoi performed.
The music duo t.A.T.u. was the only popular music act to take the stage. They sang their hit "Not Gonna Get Us."