Lara Downes

About Lara Downes

Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, a trailblazer both on and off the stage, whose musical roadmap seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family and collective memory. As a chart-topping recording artist, a powerfully charismatic performer, a curator and tastemaker, Downes is recognized as a cultural visionary on the national arts scene.

Lara Downes has attracted attention as one of the most exciting and communicative young pianists of today’s generation, called “a most delightful artist, with a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship” by National Public Radio, where she is currently the host of Amplify with Lara Downes… Her intense musicality, brilliant virtuosity and electrifying personality consistently thrill audiences at the world’s leading concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Salle Gaveau.

Lara’s recordings have met with great critical and public acclaim. Her debut CD on Postcards Records, “Invitation to the Dance”, was called “A magical little recording” by National Public Radio. Her second release, “American Ballads”, was ranked by among the four best recordings of American music ever made and was featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”.

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Downes’ forays into the broad landscape of American music have created a series of acclaimed recordings, including America Again, hailed by The Boston Globe as “a balm for a country riven by disunion.”

With a fierce commitment to arts advocacy, Downes enjoys creative collaborations with a range of leading artists, including multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer Rhiannon Giddens, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, folk icon Judy Collins, writer Adam Gopnik, and former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove. Her close partnerships with prominent composers span genres and generations, with premieres and commissions coming from Jennifer Higdon, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz, Paola Prestini, Clarice Assad, Michael Abels, and many others.

Lara Downes also appears on these albums:


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