Biz news: Lola has new agent. Yuja better watch out

Biz news: Lola has new agent. Yuja better watch out


norman lebrecht

October 09, 2018

The Uzbek pianist Lola Astanova, a Youtube favourite and friend of Donald Trump, has changed represetation. Message from Berin Arts Management:


The most viewed and admired classical musician in the world Lola Astanova has signed an exclusive contract with Berin Iglesias Art.

The international Creative Entertainment Group – Berin Iglesias Art – will officially represent the pianist Lola Astanova in Europe, the CIS countries, Asia, the UAE and Middle East.

A young and beautiful piano virtuoso Lola Astanova has redefined the classical music scene with her appealing artistic vision, sophisticated fashion style and grace. Lola Astanova has started taking piano lessons at the age of six and later established herself as one of the most triumphant performers. Astanova`s noticeable appearance in the Classical Superstars Fantasy Concert is considered to be her big artistic breakthrough in 2007. Lola`s fascinating career includes a sold-out 2012 Carnegie Hall debut, hosted by the future President of the United States and Dame Julie Andrews. A documentary performance film, featuring Astanova`s interpretation of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the All Star Orchestra, has won a 2016 Emmy Award.
Lola Astanova is also expanding beyond the traditional classical repertoire as a performer, composer and producer.

The talented pianist has worked and cooperated with many popular musicians and artists including Andrea Bocelli, Alejandro Sanz, Marc Anthony, David Foster, Stjepan Hauser (2CELLOS) and many others. Lola Astanova`s passionate video performances of Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff as well as her own original transcriptions have attracted a younger and broader audience to discover the beauty of classical music.


  • Ben G. says:

    With legs like hers, it’s no wonder that Trump finally appreciates classical music.

  • George says:

    I read „Hosted by the future President of the United States Dame Julie Andrews.“

  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    Barry Manilow had it right:

    “Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
    With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there”.

    I recently heard her in Pula with Stjepan Hauser. If she had half the amount of talent as her sizable sex-kitten ego and conspicuous silicone injections, she might have a future.
    Perfect pairing with Berin – showman and shyster.

    • Sue says:

      Some man will pinch her bottom because she’s putting her sexuality on display so openly. Men had better watch out for their careers and future!!! A woman dressing like this is merely a tease – she’s not meant to be touched or approached. Caveat emptor.

      • Alex Davies says:

        Sue, do you have to take every possible opportunity to be an idiot? If ‘some man’ pinches her bottom, it will not be ‘because she’s putting her sexuality on display so openly’, it will be because he doesn’t know how to behave. If men choose to ruin their careers and futures because they can’t keep their hands to themselves that is their own fault and they deserve everything they have coming to them. Who knows why she chooses to dress like this? No, she certainly isn’t ‘meant to be touched’ without her consent. Approached? It depends how it’s done. Contrary to the narrative being pursued by people like you these days, nobody is saying that a man cannot politely ask a woman whether she’d be interested in meeting some time in order to get to know each other better.

    • Alex Davies says:

      Why do you care whether she’s had breast augmentation surgery? It’s her body, her choice. It’s totally irrelevant to whether she can play the piano or not.

  • RW2013 says:

    I want to hear her play the Ligeti Etüden as well as Yuja.

  • violafan says:

    No thanks.

  • Wowzers says:

    I have to say, the press release is pretty hilarious :

    “The most viewed and admired classical musician in the world”

    “has redefined the classical music scene with her appealing artistic vision, sophisticated fashion style and grace”

    And best of all “Astanova`s noticeable appearance in the Classical Superstars Fantasy Concert is considered to be her big artistic breakthrough in 2007” – the equivalent of winning the Tchaikovsky Competition, Van Cliburn and the Queen Elisabeth all in the same year, right?


    Oh, wait…

  • Guilherme Barbosa says:

    Desmond Morris already had it summarized in his 1967 book “The Naked Ape”:

    “I am not available for intercourse….
    But I am nevertheless highly attractive”

  • John Rook says:

    Lola Astanova has started taking piano lessons at the age of six

    They said she was young, but this is stretching it a bit. The joys of the misused present perfect…

  • Caravaggio says:

    Sordid and degrading. But yes, Yuja Wang better look out.

  • CYM says:

    QUIZ : Difficult
    – Did anyone notice the color of the piano ?
    HINT : May require multiple viewings and scrutiny.

  • James Welch says:

    Well I not going to put up a huge fight here, but I think you’re all being a bit mean. Whether your suspicions and facts are right or wrong, there’s really no reason to take somebody over the coals with these types of words. Yes it is well known the she is friends with Trump. Does the behavior displayed in these comments live up to what we all see as “making America great again,” or just a “speak your mind no matter who you hurt just like Donald Trump does”? I believe the real fear here is that musicians feel that they’ll never be able to compete with Lola because of her displayed sexuality and perfect figure. People will only want to see musicians that look and act like her on stage. As a fellow musician myself, I can say that I don’t feel threatened by that. There are still plenty of spectators out there who appreciate the sounds of great music no matter who’s performing.

  • V.Lind says:

    “The most…admired classical musician in the world”? By whom? Mr.Justice Kavanaugh?

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Would Gina Bachauer have a career in today’s music industry? I wonder. Yet, I feel some pity for young artists today, male and female, who have genuine talent as well as extreme good looks. Keeping the music business happy is why they wear degrading costumes and engage in the rockstar postures and gestures. When they are mature (and are mature looking) artists with mature interpretations, but no longer look anything like their publicity photos, what then?

    • Petros Linardos says:

      I too wonder about today’s Bachauers and Cherkasskys. There have always been overrated celebrities and underrated extraordinary musicians. I wouldn’t join the cassandras who lament the absence of first class talents today, but I think I am now seeing more overrated stars than I did 30 or 40 years ago.

      As for clues about what may happen to, say, an aging Yuja Wang, maybe we should look at where artists like Krystian Zimerman or Murray Perahia are today: deeply respected, continuing with distinguished careers, possibly making fewer recordings but by no means dominating the headlines and blogs. Too optimistic?

      • buxtehude says:

        Zimerman has recorded virtually nothing in the past twenty years — by design, he’s on the side of Live. In Europe his concerts are always sold out, from what I understand, even without notice of the program — he likes to decide at the last minute.

        But I agree that it’s hard to imagine a late-stage career for Lola. Even now the whole thing is painful to watch.

        • Petros Linardos says:

          What do you mean about Zimerman? I know of the following Zimerman new recordings from the last twenty years:

          – Chopin Piano Concertos
          – Brahms 1
          – Schubert 959 & 960
          – Lutoslawski Piano Concerto
          – Bernstein Age of Anxiety
          – Bacewitz: piano sonata & chamber music

          Arguably less than we’d like to, but not nothing.

          • Luk Vaes says:

            Rachmaninoff concertos 1&2
            Webern Variations
            Bartok concerto 1

          • buxtehude says:

            This fascinating interview will explain things; it has my Buxtehude gold seal of approval:


            The Chopin concerti (I’m referring to his second whack at them with his own orchestra, for DG) were recorded in 1999. The Schubert sonatas (more than 959 and 960) are rare recent ones; not sure about the others. Check beyond the YT post dates.

        • buxtehude says:

          Brahms 1 is only 12 years old; the Rachs 15 years ago…

        • Richard Zimmerman says:

          Painful when you can’t watch because her concerts are sold out.

    • Alex Davies says:

      But there are still artists who succeed without having to make all this effort. Take Alina Ibragimova, for example. She’s without a doubt one of the best violinists performing today. She happens to be a very beautiful woman, but as far as I can tell she’s never traded on that. She never seems to have gone in for ostentatious hair, makeup, and fashion options, and she doesn’t do those awful sultry photoshoots that other young artists go in for these days. If the playing is good enough, it will speak for itself. Tanja Tetzlaff has always seemed to have opted for a similar approach. Among young female pianists, Yulianna Avdeeva seems pretty normal.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        I agree about Ibragimova in all respects, and she is not alone. But for all her dignity, the painful question is whether she would have still had the same career if she didn’t look as good?

        • Alex Davies says:

          Obviously we cannot know the answer to that one way or the other. It may be that when she was first spotted somebody said, ‘That girl can play the violin and she’s pretty too, let’s hire her.’ Or it may be that she has genuinely succeeded entirely based on her clearly exceptional talent as a violinist. I would assume the latter, and I’d also guess that it is a reflection of her truly exceptional ability that she has been able to succeed without resorting to tricks like ridiculous shoes and micro dresses.

          Among male violinists, I think Joshua Bell is an interesting example. He is clearly a decent enough violinist, but he’s hardly one of the great violinists of his generation. He’s not up there with Gil Shaham, James Ehnes, and Vadim Repin, for example. But he does have good looks, style, and charm, and I can only believe that that has helped propel him to superstar status. That’s not to say that he’s not a good player, but no way does he deserve the true superstar status that he has acquired based solely on his playing.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Alina Ibragimova has also been helped since her father played in the LSO. And no, I don’t mean “nepotism”. Rather, they genuinely think she is a great player and are happy to help support her career. Which means she was able to get started in her career without having to do some of the stuff others have used get noticed.

    • Richard Zimmerman says:

      Why don’t you drive over to their $50M house, or their $30M yacht and ask them?

  • Marc says:

    Well, let’s just see how she plays. Here she is on YouTube, in a Chopin performance viewed more than 460,000 times.

    It’s kind of hilarious, actually (in a sick sort of way): Dig those sparkly heels! Have you seen enough of her thighs and legs? Watch her toss her long hair about! Check out her sensual lips, and her slender figure. You may even want to pay attention to her playing, which is OK but hardly exceptional. Oh yes — and the music itself. Oh yeah, the music. Who wrote it, again? But really, who cares?

    By the way, check out some of the comments below the video, and note that more than 1,000 folks gave it a thumbs-down.

    • Luk Vaes says:

      Average playing. The rest is indeed laughable.

      As for the numbers: cats do much better. And that is what she is comparable to, judging how she decides to profile herself.

    • Alex Davies says:

      In a way, what her videos show is that she has a fairly accurate perception of her own ability as a pianist and that she is an astute businesswoman. She’s a decent enough pianist and quite musical. She could have made her living teaching piano and had a sideline occasionally playing concerts in provincial theatres. She could have made enough money to live comfortably enough in Tashkent. However, not content with this likely outcome, she’s made the most of her good looks and made a career for herself that allows her to perform all over the world, attracting a degree of celebrity and no doubt making her a lot of money. It appears that she’s having fun doing it too. So, no, she’s not going to be the next Rubinstein, but she knows that, and she’s been smart enough maximise what potential she does have.

      • Stainway says:

        Still, all that plastic look like Kardashians, where she can’t even close her mouth, does not make her happy or joyful. Has she stayed in Tashkent, she’d probably be happier, even with less money.

    • Richard Zimmerman says:

      Ms. A is one of the greatest ever. If you know anything about classical music, you would be able to appreciate her innovative musicality. Might i suggest that when you have a choice between taking 2 roads to the same destination, try the smooth one. It’s more enjoyable, especially if you quit being juvenile and stop focusing on t & a. I wish you well.

  • Gary says:

    Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets…

  • Bruce says:

    If spike heels and tiny dresses were as important as all that, then this woman would already have at least as big a career as Yuja.

    It’s almost enough to make you wonder if the quality of the playing is the really important thing. (Almost.)

  • rg says:

    Don’t you people realize that Lola is the greatest living explorer of unjustly neglected piano repertoire ???

    Right at the top of her wikipedia article: “…noted for her interpretations of compositions by Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff”.

    I can’t WAIT to hear that stuff !!! Who are those guys, anyway? Need to research…

  • Richard Zimmerman says:

    So happy to see that everyone is having such splendid success with your careers. Keep up the good work.

  • Bryan Baltimore says:

    Why do you call her “the Uzbek pianist”? As far as I know she is American. Would you call Freddie Mercury “the Tanzanian singer” or Amy Adams “the Italian actress”?

  • Fliszt says:

    Yuja better watch out??? Pianistically, Lola is no threat to anybody – her playing is firmly at student-level, so she’s in no danger of being engaged by the Vienna Philharmonic or Chicago Symphony, or even the East Podunk Philharmonic, for that matter. But perhaps Stormy Daniels could cast her in one of her films…

    • Gretchen Murray says:

      Maybe Yuja can show off her All-Star Orchester Emmy Award. Oh no wait… Yuja doesn’t actually have an emmy. If you have actually seen ALL of Yuja Wang’s video performances, she too has some pretty skimpy onstage wardrobes.