When people think of cover songs, they generally consider popular music as the most frequently performed. In the rock era, many well-known artists have even used covering other artists’ hits as a way to connect to fans that they wouldn’t otherwise reach. However, covers can be expanded to any genre of music. It might not even be a surprise to hear, but classical music is perhaps the most often type of music that has been covered in history.
Just about every orchestra musician plays covers. If you’re a member of the pit, you’re reading sheet music that was written by someone else. Broadway musicians all interpret the score of a play on their respective instruments. In many cases, we’re talking about music that was written hundreds of years ago—and has been performed and/or recorded thousands of times.
In the modern age, we don’t hear of too many contemporary artists covering classical music. It would be strange to hear Foo Fighters pull out some Bach, Ed Sheeran serenade with some Tchaikovsky, or Cardi B rap over Beethoven. But when you do find a young artist that’s brave enough to tackle 19th century music, you can bet that they are pretty good at their craft. For our feature this week, that is certainly the case with Lola Astanova.
Born in the then Soviet Union, Lola started her musical journey at the tender age of 6 when her mother, who was a music teacher, gave her piano lessons. She quickly went on to study with various music professors, and found herself already performing by the age of 8.
Taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by social media, Lola has built herself quite a following. Her Facebook Page has around 3/4 of a million followers, and she has single-handedly introduced classical music to the mainstream. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes.
In the last decade or so, Lola has broken through in the United States by performing at various concerts including a 2012 debut at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall. With her good looks also garnering attention, she’s also been featured in Vogue magazine, and by such heavyweights as Haute Living, NBC, and the Chicago Tribune.
Our selection for Video of the Week is her most recent upload, but we encourage you to browse through her other clips on her YouTube channel. There you’ll find a seriously talented woman with tons of energy and showmanship not often associated with classical piano.
This clip was shot outside as her latest music video. Yes, that’s a real piano, and yes, that’s really the ocean. As a lover of the beach, Lola wanted to capture the feeling of being outside engulfed in the waves, and the manner in which the video was shot really captures the feeling of the music. Here she covers Frederic Chopin’s Etude Op. 25, No. 12 in C minor. You may not be a fan of classical music, but after watching this video, that could change.
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