Hear Lara Downes at WCRB's Fraser Studio
Watch and listen as one of today's most adventurous pianists celebrates Leonard Bernstein in a live Front Row Boston performance at WCRB.
Lara Downes’ musical style has been described as a combination of both classical and eclectic, blending many traditions, styles, cultures, and genres. She brought that approach to a live performance at WCRB called "For Lenny," a tribute to iconic American musician Leonard Bernstein.
Born in San Francisco and raised in Europe, Lara's ancestry is a mix of African American and Eastern European backgrounds. Lara takes inspiration from musicians that who inspire her, from Leonard Bernstein to Nina Simone.
A laureate of the 2016 Sphinx Medal of Excellence award, Lara has been recognized as a leader in expanding the reach of the arts, as a performer, an entrepreneur, and a cultural visionary.
Lara enjoys creative collaborations with a range of artists, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, roots singer Rhiannon Giddens, beatboxer Kevin "K.O." Olusola and former United States Poet Laureate Rita Dove. Her partnerships with prominent composers span genres and generations to bring significant new contributions to the piano repertoire.
Downes' newest release and Sony Music album For Lenny is an intimate centennial tribute to Leonard Bernstein and his American legacy. The album was awarded the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award and debuted in the Billboard Top 20.