Lola Astanova’s name may be new to you, but it is very familiar to her countless fans around the world, many of them of an age and demographic that classical music has spent decades trying to reach. With a direct pianistic lineage back to Liszt and a distinct visual flair, the dazzling young pianist has perfected a riveting, deeply emotional style that hearkens back to the old masters.
Born in the former Soviet Union, Lola’s journey in music began at the age of six when her mother, a music teacher, gave Lola her first lesson. Her natural gift was instantly obvious, and it did not take long before Lola was walking into the studio of a renowned piano professor Tamara Popovich. For the next several years, Lola developed her superb piano technique under the guidance of professor Popovich, learned harmony and counterpoint with professor Mark Rusak, and studied piano performance with Lev Naumov of the Moscow Conservatory. By the age of eight Astanova began appearing as a performer, and her effortless power, speed and precision, combined with emotional depth and lyricism have earned Lola quick acclaim.
Since her first days in the United States, Astanova has forged an exhilarating career offering classical music lovers an invigorating alternative to artistically stifling and boring classical music scene. Using new media to communicate with her fans, Astanova has singlehandedly redefined what it means to be a modern-day virtuoso. Through her videos many have discovered the music of Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff for the first time, and Lola's own original virtuoso transcriptions have become a YouTube and Instagram sensations.
Her first American break came in 2007, when Lola starred in a $1.6 million Neiman Marcus Classical Superstars Fantasy Concert, which also featured the Kirov Orchestra and was hosted by ABC’s Regis Philbin. The concert garnered unprecedented attention of the media and became a testament to Lola’s ability to attract a wider and younger audience with classical repertoire. The connection to Neiman Marcus was logical one for Astanova, who takes a fashion-forward approach to her personal style, and can often be seen gracing the society and fashion pages in exclusive designer creations.
But it is her passion for performing, reminiscent of the Romantic age virtuosi, that remains Lola's greatest love. It is fitting, therefore, that her 2012 Carnegie Hall debut paid a rich and profound debt to her Romantic roots with a special Tribute to Horowitz concert. The concert, hosted by Dame Julie Andrews, became a historic occasion as Astanova delivered a triumphant performance in front of a sold out crowd.
Since her Carnegie debut, Lola has given countless concerts across country with the leading American ensembles, including her notable collaboration with the All-Star Orchestra. Their Visions of New York documentary, featuring Lola’s performance of Gershwin’s famed Rhapsody in Blue received the 2016 EMMY® Award.
Since achieving acclaim, Lola has used her talent, time, and influence to support and bring attention to various charitable causes helping to raise funds for cancer research, New York’s 9/11 memorial, and constantly encouraging her fans to support local art and education initiatives.