Vladimir Putin usually likes to portray himself as a hunter, fisherman and rider who can take on the great outdoors.
But he has shown he may have a softer side by playing the piano before meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping for talks in Beijing.
He said he was slightly hampered by the piano being out of tune.
Mr Putin, who has been occupied with the annexation of Crimea, the crisis in eastern Ukraine and Russia's role in Syria, took some time out to "toy with some keys".
"It's a pity that the piano was out of tune," Putin said. "It was quite hard to play, even for me, someone who plays with two fingers. I cannot say I played, I was just pressing the keys with two or three fingers.
"I thought that if Mr Peskov is filming, it's probably for personal use, for the archive," Putin said, referring to his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. "But they decided to post it. But never mind. I think I didn't let you down."
He played soviet classics such as "Moscow Windows" and "City on the Free Neva".
Putin is habitually late for meetings, but this time he was the one who was made to wait, Russian news agencies said.
Putin is in Beijing on a state visit to discuss a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that strives to revive the ancient Silk Road.
Mr Putin is not known for being demure in public and has been pictured riding a horse shirtless, fishing and hunting.
Putin has demonstrated his music talents before. In 2010, he took the stage at a charity concert with a jazz band to play and sing "Blueberry Hills."