HINDSIGHT is a new piano concerto composed by Paola Prestini for Lara Downes, celebrating the Centennial of the passing of the 19th Amendment. Co-commissioned by the Ravinia Festival, the Louisville Orchestra, & the Oregon Bach Festival, this lush, coloristic work looks back — with the 20-20 vision of hindsight — at women’s journeys through an American century.

Hindsight recognizes the frailty of progress, and the inevitable balance of struggle and triumph along the way. The 19th Amendment was a decisive step in the long march towards equality, securing voting rights for African American women nearly half a century later, and still pursuing full economic and social equity for all women in our own time.

Hindsight is structured as a dialogue between piano and orchestra, blending harmonies that live in dissonances of seconds and rich stacked chords. The exchange between piano and orchestra coalesces into a single beautiful whistling line, separating again towards the end of the piece as the quest for equality continues.


Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, an iconoclast dedicated to expanding the resonance and relevance of live music for diverse audiences. A trailblazer on and off-stage, she follows a musical roadmap that seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family, and collective memory. 

Her newest album, Holes in the Sky (Sony Masterworks 2019), is a genre-fluid collection of music written and performed by some of today's leading female artists and celebrates the contributions of phenomenal women to the past, present, and future of American music.

Downes has enjoyed creative collaborations with a range of leading artists, including folk icon Judy Collins, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, baritone Thomas Hampson, poet Laureate Rita Dove, and Grammy-award winning artist Rhiannon Giddens. Her close partnerships with prominent composers span genres and generations, with premieres and commissions coming from Jennifer Higdon, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz, Paola Prestini, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and many others.