Vladimir Putin’s birthday picture

Vladimir Putin’s birthday picture


norman lebrecht

October 07, 2015

He’s 63 today.

This is the image being circulated by musicians – and widely liked – on social media.


vladimir putin birthday


  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Curious as to the level of playing President Putin has aspired to. I remember a conversation I shared with former President Richard Nixon in that he professed to playing Brahms’s “Rhapsody in g minor” and other such compositions.

  • Petros LInardos says:

    Putin and Yo Yo Ma share the same birthday!

  • Reinhold Martin says:

    Dear Yo Yo Ma, please don’t care… Shit happens

  • Neven P. says:

    Tito also used to have a white piano. It seems this is every dictator’s must-have accessory.

    • Brian says:

      Lovely! Thanks for making me laugh!

    • John Borstlap says:

      There is a special shop for white dictator piano’s in St Petersburg on the Nevski Prospect 666, produced by Input Harmonia Inc., which was specially set-up by Stalin in 1937 and has florished since. After the fall of the Soviet Union their market drastically changed from inland towards foreign costumers, and the only piano they sold to a Russian over the last decennia was, indeed, the one for Mr Putin. But everywhere in the world the Input Harmonia pianos are popular, in spite of the high prices, and not only with dictators, also politicians with powerful ambitions have a profound desire to possess one. African dictators get them delivered with exclusively black keys (still keeping the white frame!), South African ministers in the Apartheid era got them with exclusively white keys, and Chinese leader Mr Xi has a pentatonic one with only the black keys, the white ones being considered a western imperialist invention. Khadaffi had an Input Harmonia grand piano with golden keyboard, an instrument enlarged to 5 meters, with an extra keyboard in silver at the back side but without a string frame inside, because he used to sleep in it in his desert tent, closing the lid when the occasional rain shower choose his abode.

      The custom stems from Hitler who used to lay down under the instrument while he forced a famous pianist to play Wagner arrangements, during which he suffered fits of extasy.

    • Dominique says:

      According to a popular anecdote, the Queen of England and her guests at a Windsor Castle party were highly impressed when Yugoslav president Tito sat at the piano and played Chopin. Now, something to think about:
      a) why the Queen lets the dictators playing piano for her;
      b) why the republicans like Nixon and C. Rice, prefer the piano, while democrats like Clinton prefer the saxophone;
      c) why Mussolini and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium preferred the violin?
      d) why the King Wilhelm I preferred the flute? And last but not least:
      e) what should we think about all the politicians who can neither play, nor like any music, not to mention the ones who hate the culture?
      (More entries about monarchs and their instruments please.)

      • Dave T says:

        Harry S Truman liked (and played) piano. It liked him, too, so much so that it used to follow him around the White House.

      • Dave T says:

        Louis XIII’s instrument was Cardinal Richelieu. Or was it the other way around?

      • Pianofortissimo says:

        Richard Nixon and Benito Mussolini had a better musical taste than Bill Clinton. So what? Even a bad guy can be cultivated.

      • Neven P. says:

        According to a popular anecdote, Tito was not really Tito, but an impostor – illegitimate son of an Austrian aristocrat who was educated at the well known K.u.K. military academy. He was implanted by the MI6 after the death of the real Josip Broz (a locksmith by trade with a fourth grade education) in the Spanish Civil War. This may explain why he was able to play Chopin and why the Queen let him do it at Windsor.

        There is a declassified CIA document on the internet in which their linguists concluded that according to his speech patterns, JBT was not a native speaker of any South Slavic language.

  • Simon says:

    Here is Putin practicing the Iranian national anthem which he will conduct at the White House shortly.

  • libor says:

    …and Putin scored seven goals in a Sochi hockey match on his birthday after practising Brahms
    Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=881_1444234558#DtmKYoT3wt1VEIcF.99

  • John D says:

    Clearly he’s playing that old Irving Berlin standard, “Putin on the Ritz.”

  • Stephen says:

    Something else that Cameron can’t do – or has failed to.