Cover Story: There is so much going on in San Francisco right now, that we gave this issue two different covers—both of which celebrate music and life during this holiday season. From classical to hip hop—our double cover is shared by piano virtuoso Lola Astanova and chart-topping artist Swizz Beatz. Growing up in the USSR, Lola Astanova overcame incredible odds to become one of the classical music industry’s most celebrated pianists. From being featured in UNESCO ’s Prodigies of the 20th Century to her debut at Carnegie Hall, Astanova’s is that rarest of virtuosos: one who has truly lived up to the ‘wunderkind’ label.
Meanwhile, Swizz Beatz, the rapper, producer, painter and haute horlogerie collector shows us another facet: businessman. As the first ever co-owner in Monster Inc., Swizz is helping founder and CEO Noel Lee bring his Bay Area business take over the luxury electronics market. There’s an inspiring meeting of minds between Swizz and Noel, and if we were taking bets, we’d put our money on Monster.
We’ve also featured those who devote themselves to philanthropy in this issue, from IfOnly founder Trevor Traina to fashion designer Rachel Roy to Smile Train devotee Angie Balfour.