How a Russian pianist breached the Trump White House

How a Russian pianist breached the Trump White House


norman lebrecht

January 16, 2019

Seth Hettena, author of Trump/Russia: A Definitive History, attempts to shed light on the diaphanous Lola Astanova:

It’s a bit of a mystery as to how Astanova wound up at the White House. The invitation came through an outside producer for the Hallmark Channel, which televised the concert. “She was not recommended by the White House. The referral was sent to me via the music industry,” Kristi Foley, head of Pleasant Street Entertainment, who sent Astanova the invitation on behalf of the National Park Service, tells Rolling Stone….

Read on here.




  • Caravaggio says:

    It’s no mystery how she ended up at the WH. There are two very obvious reasons. Well, actually five if you count both legs and both ….

  • She isn’t “Russian”; she was born Uzbek and is now and American citizen, Whatever the background to her involvement with the Whilte House, might it reasonably be argued that – in one sense, at least – she and Trump deserve one another?

  • Paul Brownsey says:

    With Wang and Astanova wearing dresses seemingly designed to encourage people to look up them (“But of course we aren’t trying to use our bodies to get bookings–We support MeToo”), when are we going to see a male pianist perform in Andrew Christian underpants?

    • Mike Schachter says:

      We can wait indefinitely.

    • Bruce says:

      Maybe you already have 😉

    • hsy says:

      > With Wang and Astanova

      If you can’t tell the difference between the two, which is implied by your use of juxtaposition, you should not complain about such tactics. They are designed exactly for people who listen with their eyes like yourself.

      > “But of course we aren’t trying to use our bodies to get bookings–We support MeToo”

      Wang does not exactly support MeToo.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Yes, this is the elephant in the room. Women dress provocatively and demand protection from looks. You couldn’t make this stuff up. And the feminazi response is so reminiscent of absurd humour, “Don’t mention the war”. Well, people are mentioning it in conversation all the time – the war between the sexes, that is. And it will continue until the next real one where they’ll be shipped off to some hellhole to save the feministas’ bony hides.

  • Novagerio says:

    The way to gain attention today: YouTube and Instagram, is that so strange?…

  • Fliszt says:

    Thus, Trump’s preference for amateurs (per his ridiculous choices for his cabinet positions) carries over from politics to music.

  • Doug says:


  • Trump Chump says:

    Trump showers her with a golden invitation?

  • almaviva says:


  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    He wanted to hear her play. And, he reads Penthouse Magazine for the articles.

    • Quintus Beckmesser says:

      People tend to forget that life is very difficult for pianists now that the bottom has fallen out of the CD market (no innuendo intended). If a lady has good looks why not exploit them? Remember how a certain Von K exploited his (plus his upper class mode of living)?

  • Robert H Wilkins says:

    The connection between Lola and Trump is Patrick Park of Palm Beach. Park is a major supporter of Lola…he was nominated by Trump to be ambassador to Austria…Park finally withdrew his name for this nomination!!!!!

  • Saxon Broken says:

    I get the impression that we don’t need to read the article, but only look at the picture, to understand why Trump invited her to the White House.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Trump has no “favorite pianist”, as such. I would be surprised if he could tell the difference between a piano and a buffet table.
    What he sees in Astanova is another pu**y to grab. To quote Trump himself: “they let you do whatever you want”.