Just in: Russian Covid police break up piano recital

Just in: Russian Covid police break up piano recital


norman lebrecht

August 27, 2020

A recital by Denis Matsuev at Sochi, the first since the pandemic began, was disrupted by local police, acting on information from social media.

After checking the distancing arrangements, they issued the pianist with a formal warning – not knowing, obviously, who’s his best friend.


  • Dennis says:

    The Russian Covid Enforcement thugs have nothing on the Aussies and NZ. Victoria has turned into a full-on Covid Police State. The Victoria government and NZ PM are doing things that would be denounced worldwide were they done by Putin or Trump. Sickening to see what the world has become.

  • V. Lind says:

    They need to have a visit to the Mariinsky, given the “absentee” rate there!

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    The local police will find the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea a tad more bracing than balmy Sochi.
    Fortunately, humane Russia has abolished firing squads. The over-zealous cops should just steer clear of drinking tea for the next couple of months. Novichok accidents can be so baneful.

  • Brettermeier says:

    “not knowing, obviously, who’s his best friend.”

    Just keeping up the appearance.

  • Michael says:

    The worst pianist alive…

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    With friends like this who needs enemies?

  • Olassus says:

    Norman, please lose this photograph. Denis Matsuev is no thug. He’s one of our best pianists.

    • Nick says:

      It’s high time to check your ears, Olassus

      • Dhoff says:

        Nick, your entire life seems to be colored by your ill-informed politics, even your basic perceptions…I feel very sorry for you that you are trapped in your small mind that you can barely appreciate the real world. I hope you can get some help.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Olassus has my ayes, ears, and vote. From recitals and orchestral concerts with Gergiev, I have to rate Matsuev very high, and have a soft spot for his frequent encore, Liadov;s “Music Box”.

    Absent Horowitz and his recordings spanning 46 years, cannot reasonably hope now to hear Rachmaninoff’s third concerto better played than by Matsuev in my lifetime.

  • SVM says:

    Or maybe, Russia is a country subject to rule of law without fear or favour., where being friendly with a holder of high political office does not seem to confer immunity… unlike the UK, where Durham Constabulary has yet to charge Dominic Cummings!