Pianist Lara Downes is known for her innovative concert programs and recordings, which bridge musical genres, traditions and audiences. Her extraordinary ability to engage and communicate with a wide range of listeners has won her acclaim for her “unique blend of musicianship and showmanship” (NPR), and praise for a performance style that serves as “an elegant example of how accessibility and a breezy relevance can exist, organically, in a classical music concert” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her performance and recording projects, ranging from 13 WAYS of Looking at the Goldberg: Bach Reimagined to Long Time Coming: Duke Ellington’s America, have received support from prominent organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, National Public Radio, American Public Media and the WFMT Radio Network.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR MUSICIANS
Downes’ Career Development seminar series offers hands-on strategies for young pianists to create innovative performance careers by identifying their individual strengths and interests, developing unique artistic profiles, and growing their audiences through imaginative approaches to programming and performing. Drawing on her own day-to-day experiences as a practicing concert artist, Downes addresses essential topics including:
Identifying your Strengths - Defining your Brand - Finding your Audience - Building your Community - Diversifying your Portfolio - Shaping your Future
Active nationally as a performing and recording artist, Downes is also a curator of programming as Artistic Director of the San Francisco-based The Artist Sessions, and as a mentor of the next generation as Artistic Director of the National Young Artists Program at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis, where she serves as Artist in Residence. She is the producer and host of The Green Room, a radio show about the real lives of classical musicians, in national syndication through the WFMT Radio Network. Lara Downes is a Steinway Concert and Recording Artist.