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.

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 Time

New tributes to Lenny, composed 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…


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

MEET THE COMPOSERS