LARA DOWNES celebrates the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein with FOR LENNY, a piano tribute to an American musical icon.

Lenny, the man behind the music, behind the legend. Full of heart, boundless curiosity, and belief in the power of music to change our world.

Bernstein’s incomparable ability to communicate his deep and abiding belief in the power of music changed American culture in his own time, and inspired the next generations of American musicians (myself included) always to follow his star.
— Lara Downes

This album reaches far and wide across the landscape of American music, into territories that Bernstein charted, across borders that he knocked down, uniting the past, present and future in a way that is unique to the artistry of Lara Downes, an iconoclastic, thoroughly 21st Century musician who herself represents Bernstein’s American vision.

“Downes reminds us just who we are, a nation of diverse voices and experiences.... On display here — with all its regret, hope and pride — is America.”

— NPR Music

Lara plays Bernstein’s Anniversaries for Piano, musical portraits he composed for his family and friends, along with new arrangements of some of his most intimate and revealing songs: Story of My Life, Some Other TimeNew tributes to Lenny, written for Lara and premiered on this recording, come from American composers who are profoundly connected to Bernstein’s life and work -  Stephen Sondheim, Ned Rorem, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz, and others.

A musical portrait, a heartfelt tribute: for Lenny, with love…


Feature on WUNC The State of Things

Leonard Bernstein: Celebrating The Man And The Music

Leonard Bernstein is remembered as an exceptionally talented conductor, composer and teacher. His "Young People's Concerts" television series exposed millions of American children to classical music, and his message that music is for everyone struck a chord with many communities.


Photo: Areon Mobasher

Photo: Areon Mobasher

THE "FOR LENNY" STORY PROJECT

SHARE YOUR MEMORIES! Lara is touring For Lenny across America, bringing Bernstein's music and mission to a new generation of young people. Did you watch Bernstein's Young People's Concerts as a child? How did that experience touch your life? Share your memories here to join a national story project that brings generations together in the love of music, through LB's legacy as a communicator and an educator who believed that music belongs to all of us, in the concert hall and far beyond its walls. 

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For Lenny: I remember...