Lola Astanova

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Lola Astanova (Russian: Лола Астанова, born 1985 in Tashkent, former USSR) is a Russian-American pianist, noted for her interpretations of compositions by Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff, as well as piano transcriptions.[1]


At the age of six Astanova entered the V. Uspensky Specialized School of Music for Gifted Children, an elite school in Tashkent, present-day Uzbekistan where she was born, grew up, and where she started studying piano under Professor Tamara Popovich. She frequently visited Moscow, studying at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory for lessons with Professor Lev Naumov,[2] who described Astanova's pianism as "rare and truly ingenious", adding that "Chopin performed by Lola is simply outstanding."[3]

Astanova started touring as a concert pianist at the age of eight. She performed in Germany, France, Austria, Italy and Russia in both solo programs and performances with orchestras. She became a laureate at the 1996 International Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Moscow. In 1998, she was featured in the UNESCO documentary "Prodigies of the 20th Century". In 2003, she emigrated to the United States. Astanova had her US debut in 2004 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.[4]

Lola Astanova (right) with Meredith Vieira on the Today Show

Astanova became a star of the October 2007 Classical Superstars Fantasy Concert alongside Valery Gergiev and Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater, hosted by ABC's television host Regis Philbin. The concert was featured in the 100th anniversary issue of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book and offered for $1.6 million.[5][6] In August 2008, The National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced Ms. Astanova's performance on the famed Steinway concert grand piano of Vladimir Horowitz at the "Notes of Hope" benefit hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.[7][8] The event included performances by comedian & actor Denis Leary and rock musician John Mellencamp.

On January 19, 2012 Astanova made her Carnegie Hall debut.[9] A special Tribute to Vladimir Horowitz gala concert was chaired by Donald Trump and hosted by the Academy Award Winner Julie Andrews.[10] Horowitz's student, American pianist Byron Janis was among the concert's attendees.[11] All proceeds from the performance were donated to the American Cancer Society.[12] In March 2012, Astanova appeared on the cover of Palm Beach Society magazine ahead of her performance with Jahja Ling at the Kravis Center.[13] On May 30, 2012 she performed a duet with Byron Janis during his Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.[14]

In August 2012 Astanova teamed up with Jahja Ling and the San Diego Symphony again for a special outdoors concert at San Diego's Embarcadero Marina Park South[15] The two also appeared together with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at the Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on January 23, 2013 and will perform with the Palm Beach Symphony at the $500-a-ticket gala concert at Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach on March 28, 2013[16] Of the January 2013 concert, the New York Times wrote that Astanova "failed to imbue the slow movements of either the Tchaikovsky...or the Rachmaninoff...with any sense of lyricism. Her phrasing often sounded rather choppy; her playing dispassionate."[17]

In October 2012 Astanova announced the release of her new digital series titled La Musique et L'Ardeur with studio performances and in-depth conversations about music.[18]


Astanova has been the center of attention for her performance style and appearance, often wearing high-heels and sporting exclusive haute couture outfits. She has expressed her love for fashion stating that "some extraordinary artists" work in this field.[19] In June 2012, she was named among Top 10 Style Icons in Classical Music by Limelight magazine.[20]

Original music[edit]

Astanova has written a number of virtuoso piano transcriptions on the theme of popular melodies including holiday classic Jingle Bells,[21] and Rihanna's Don't Stop the Music, which received over 1.5 million views on YouTube.[22]


  1. ^ Wall Street Journal: Lola Astanova’s Spin on Classical
  2. ^ Lola Astanova, Young Russian Piano Virtuoso, Embarks Upon her Professional Career in America
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  4. ^ (May 2004 Program at the John F. Kennedy Center)
  5. ^
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  8. ^
  9. ^ Lola Astanova at Carnegie Hall
  10. ^ Lola Astanova Wows Crowd, "Lovely Lola Class Act on Keys"
  11. ^
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  14. ^
  15. ^ Donor appreciation concert with Lola Astanova
  16. ^ Symphony Gala Concert
  17. ^
  18. ^ Digital series trailer
  19. ^ San Diego Magazine talks with pianist Lola Astanova
  20. ^,top-10-style-icons-in-classical-music.aspx/9%7Ctitle= Top 10 Style Icons in Classical Music
  21. ^ Jingle Bells
  22. ^ Don't Stop the Music

External links[edit]