Open letter to Major of Genoa, Bergamo and Brescia, Teatro Carlo Felice, Giovine Orchestra Genovese and Festival Pianistico Internazionale

Subject: Shut your doors to Putin’s cultural general and promoter of war Denis Matsuev.

Nearly a year into Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine, characterized by a continuous chain of war crimes, including the recent use of a ballistic missile against an apartment building in Dnipro, resulting in tremendous loss of life and injuries among civilians, we inexplicably find ourselves in a position of needing to write this letter. We had been sure that by now everyone understands just how immoral and destructive to the reputation of any artistic organization cooperation with Putin’s propagandists, such as Denis Matsuev turns out to be. This is because Putin’s regime, like the Soviet regime earlier, uses the “Great Russian Culture” as a Trojan Horse in order to blunt outcries of condemnation of its aggressive policies.

On the eve of the full-scale war, American activists from Signerbusters sent this open letter to Carnegie Hall demanding the cancellation of the concert of war cheerleaders Valery Gergiev and Denis Matsuev.

We are sure that this is not news to you, as since then Denis Matsuev’s concerts have been canceled not only in the USA, but also in SwitzerlandCzechiaSpain, and JapanThe European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) also cancelled of Denis Matsuev’s planned concerts with the Orchestra.

True to form, after the outbreak of the war Mr. Matsuev not only did not condemn it, but continued to participate in propaganda activities sponsored by the Putin regime.

Even a cursory search reveals that in 2022 Putin’s “President’s Cultural Initiatives Fund” gave at least $3,200,000 to Matsuev’s projects. Putin’s Gazprom lists itself as a 2022 co-sponsor of Matsuev’s festival via his “Stars on the Baikal” Foundation. There is money from Putin’s Cultural Initiatives Fund flowing to Matsuev’s “New Names” Foundation, in addition to the significant amounts of money flowing to him from various other governmental entities. All of this information is freely available via Google or any other search engine. We can’t stress enough that all this funding is coming to Mr. Matsuev from the government and the president who are bombing a neighboring country and killing people there as we write this letter.

Today we make the same call to you that we made to Carnegie Hall in January 2022: do not let your cultural institution go down in history as a servant of propaganda and war. Instead, do the right thing by shutting your doors against this cultural general of Putin’s bloody regime and enthusiastic promoter of war.


Arts Against Aggression 

* Since 2014 Arts Against Aggression engages in educating local communities about the ongoing aggression and war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

Our educational campaigns are aimed at raising awareness of the US public and cultural institutions of the Russian hybrid war against the US, as well as exposing the Russian artists who vocally support Putin’s wars of aggression for domestic consumption while cowardly pretending to be “musicians, not politicians” in the West.



  1. Dasha

    Excellent letter. No putin’s supporter should be allowed to perform in the West when ruSSian army is killing, raping and bombing ukranian children.!


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