A gift of Chopin in the Russian ruins of Irpin

A gift of Chopin in the Russian ruins of Irpin


norman lebrecht

June 18, 2022

The Lithuanian pianist Darius Mažintas went back to Ukraine to perform Chopin Nocturnes in front of the ruins of its House of Culture.

An extraordinarily moving short film.

All the more so when we hear Russians claiming to be a cultural nation, superior to all others. The Russians murdered 300 men, women and children in Irpin and laid waste to its cultural centre.

Here’s Darius’s full recital.

The initiative was sponsored by Canada’s Looking at the Stars Foundation, which brings music to places other organisers seldom reach.


  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    You’ve made me cry. What a terrible world we live in. I do hop these brave people are safe. One day all will be well…….

  • Margaret Koscielny says:

    When will all this cruelty toward Ukraine and its people end? What end goal could Putin have which could ever justify demolishing a culture and a people? It is sheer madness. Russia learned nothing from its suffering in WW2.

    • Sisko24 says:

      I agree with you except for the last sentence. I believe Russia learned how to inflict on others what was done to them in WW2/The Great Patriotic War. They seem bent on some sort of twisted revenge on the world for ‘letting it happen to them’ even though they were a party to helping start WW2. They were then known as the Soviet Union and they invaded Poland from the east as Nazi Germany invaded Poland from the west. Putin has officially erased that from Russian history books to make it seem as if they (Russia/Soviet Union) were ‘innocent’ victims of the Nazis when they were initially co-conspirators. But as there is no honor amongst thieves, those two horrid political systems couldn’t abide each other and thus what followed.

  • E.R. says:

    It is immensely moving, to hear this recital, and his words.
    Thank you for finding this.

  • Margaret keefe says:

    Yes, this brings tears and also gratitude to the pianist and all who aided him. The elderly gentleman tuning the piano is so life affirming in the face of such evil being perpetrated on the people of Ukraine. Chopin nocturnes are forever.