Russian pianist faces demos at Carnegie Hall and beyond

Russian pianist faces demos at Carnegie Hall and beyond


norman lebrecht

June 17, 2014

Denis Matsuev, a close associate of Vladimir Putin (he persuaded the president to buy the Rachmaninov estate in Switzerland), faced a fairly polite demonstration before his Carnegie Hall recital on Sunday (pictured). There was a slightly bigger turnout the night before at Harvard.

matsuev demo



Valery Gergiev, in a recent interview, said Russian artists now feel embattled in the West but the support of audiences has not changed.



  • Jonathan Simpson says:

    Matsuev declares war on everything he plays: This is showmanship, not musicianship. He’s an entertainer, not a pianist, and his “musical” approach panders to the lowest segments of the audience, as he steam-rolls through his program with blatant disrespect for the composers he’s been entrusted to serve.

    • Martin says:

      He played a superb Tchaikovsky 2 when on tour in Switzerland recently. Maybe you should listen to him without prejudice.

    • Olaugh Turchev says:

      So does Lang… So boycott him too?

      • m2n2k says:

        As I said in my previous comment that has not made it in here – why not? If you feel that way about his playing, then sure, go ahead, boycott him too! No one is stopping you.

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    Beware soloists, quartets, philharmonies and other symphonic formations, someone is bound to find a beef with your country, its leader, its traditions, someone will be offended by your political views and if these do not conform to the New World Order moral diktat, they will hunt you and self proclaimed beacons of freedom and tolerance will gleefuly report and support…

    • Michael Endres says:

      I agree with that view.
      In Munich a group self appointed watchdogs demanded actually that all musicians that had signed the ‘Putin declaration’ should receive no more Visas to perform anywhere in Western countries ( or probably nowhere at all ) . And of course Gergiev should not get the Munich job.
      I wonder whether freedom of speech is an acceptable concept for these brigades at all.