Our Christmas cover is … Lola

Readers of Pianist magazine – a generally quiet lot of pianophiles who crack open the mag to learn new fingerings – may be slightly alarmed when the Christmas issue of their favourite journal drops through the letterbox.

The cover personage is the flamboyant Lola Astanova, not previously associated with the drier pursuits of music education or the heights of concert stardom.

Anything else you’d like in your stocking?

See how she plays here.

UPDATE: Lola in teaching mode, this summer:

Fb page pic

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  • ”not previously associated with the drier pursuits of music education or the heights of concert stardom.” hahahaha. Nice touch Norman!

  • Magazines sell to their customer base and the customer base of classical music is precisely that demographic that still buys glossy nudie magazines in print.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, the customer base of classical music looks a lot more like Placido Domingo than Lola Astanova.

  • Her performance of the Rach. 2 at the Concertgebouw in 2012 has had 23,395,882 views! Is she doing something right? Some purists don’t like her. At least she has generated much interest in the Rach.2 apparantly followed by the Tchai. No.1

  • Well done to Pianist Magazine for daring to step outside the often snobby norm of the piano world. Lola is a brilliant pianist and wears what she wants. Power to her! Too many men on here telling her what she can and can’t wear. Find something more worthy to spend your time on…

    • “Too many men on here telling her what she can and can’t wear.”

      She’s not dressed like that to please other women. So as long as she’s doing it to please men, we’re doing her a favor by giving her pointers, since she’s so eager to please.

      So typical of women. “Don’t look at my décolleté just because I bare it down almost to the nipples, that’s just how I dress for my mother.”

        • Self-defeating idiocy.

          Why would a female pianist try to appear as physically-inviting as possible if not for male interest? If she would (un-)dress like that merely for herself to feel comfortable, also that is the wrong motivation, since it has nothing to do with playing the piano. Either it is the usual indulgence in vulgarity and attention seeking, or it is unbearable and embarrassing narcisism, and both are abject and have nothing to do with music.

          • “Why would a female pianist try to appear as physically-inviting as possible if not for male interest?” Forgive me but that is the most uneducated and naive quote on this entire thread.

            You are honestly saying that women appear physically inviting all for the pleasure of men. Hint: Not everything is about you! Educate yourself John, it’s the 21st Century, not the 1950s.

            It’s about empowerment and confidence, and taking control of yourself.

          • But this appears to me to be a truly ‘uneducated and naive quote’. The 2nd picture under this post obviously shows an attempt to loudly underline physical attractiveness, and again: that has nothing to do with playing the piano. In fact, it is a prostitute-style appearance, dehumanizing the beauty of the female form. So, exactly because we are now in an age with increasing awareness of the dehumanizing of women, such (un-) dressing belongs to a social / cultural context where women are playthings and nothing more.

            If she wants to make her physique ‘functional’ as such, apart from the obvious thing, she should try to become a model for some decent figurative painter.

  • For reasons that are hardly obscure, she has the distinction of being tRump’s favorite musician and has … played .. at the White House.

  • For the record, I have no desire to tell her what she should or shouldn’t wear when giving public performances; to me, she doesn;t even generate sufficient interest to warrant that. Yes, she has had a reliable training but that does not turn her into a pianist of the front rank deserving of the attention that she presumably seeks – and the fact that she so transparently seeks that attention by means other than her piano playing, which is at best mediocre speaks eloquently (if also depressingly) for itself. Her presentations are often distinguished by their comical nature (although I am not convinced that this is her intention) but there’s nothing so wearisome as a joke that wears off before it’s even been fully told. The world is full of pianists with immensely greater talent than she is blessed with. I’m trying (not to) imagine Martha Argerich conducting herself as Lola does, even when she was Lola’s age. As a matter of fact, I don’t even find Lola remotely attractive, but that’s only a personal view and not intended to be taken as any kind of value judgement.

  • Obviously, since clothing choice (i.e. square footage of bare skin) is more important than musicianship, it’s only a matter of time till her career eclipses Yuja’s — and everybody else’s.

    • Since cultural anthropology teaches us that every extreme provokes its extreme reaction, it is to be expected that at some stage there will be female pianists appearing on stage in a burka.

  • Why is it that whenever the topic of Yuja or some other scantily dressed woman like this Lola comes up in Slipped Disc, the comments section lights up like the 4th of July with comments from men who want to get their 2 cents in?

    Women don’t really care much about what Yuja or Lola are wearing or doing. It’s like fine, whatever. It’s men who seem to want to debate this. Like they want to justify their lust or talk about it or something.

    From a female perspective, I am much more interested in what someone like Stjepan Hauser is doing and wearing. I only know about Lola because Hauser did some videos with her. He pretty much left her in the dust musically and aesthetically IMHO.

    Who cares about Lola. Let’s talk about Stjepan Hauser. Who is he collaborating with this week? What repertoire is he performing? Has he gone too commercial? Is he totally solo or is 2cellos still happening? Why is Senorita’s head always cut off in their videos?


    More Hauser, less Lola, guys. The discussions about what Lola and Yuja are wearing are getting really old.

      • They sure are!

        The demographic of these Yuja & Lola commenters looks to be mostly old retired guys who are enthralled with the idea that they can combine their interest in classical music with soft porn viewing. And for some reason they all want to discuss it here on Slipped Disc every time Yuja or Lola are mentioned. And I mean Every Single Time.

        Geez. Old guys – can y’all just go watch a porn flick or something? This is a fascinating topic for a few of you who are retired with time on your hands and who are determined to justify your lust in a classical music context, but truthfully, do you see many women obsessing on Slipped Disc about Hauser or Roberto Alagna or Charlie Siem or Andreas Ottensamer or Emmanuel Pahud? It’s not like we don’t have subject matter, too.

        Yuja’s outfits & Lola’s cleavage are a niche topic. Other women really don’t care what they are wearing or not wearing. It’s all you old guys. It’s a dated theme and it places you squarely, as Sarah astutely mentions above, in a 1950’s mentality. We understand that you want to debate every aspect of this topic, but it’s all been said. Enough already!

        • That’s a bit silly…. it is exactly the Lola types of classical music who live in the fifties, when women, if beautiful, were sex objects and nothing more.

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