Photos: Christine DiPasquale

“Loving attention to mood and color, and a gift for telling stories in a tightly compressed form."

  -The New York Times

A most delightful artist, with a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship.”  -National Public Radio

"A magnetic force wrapped in flawless technique and a silken touch"

-Musical Toronto

“A balletic keyboard reverie rendered with nuance and drama"

-The Washington Post

"Addicting...Downes plays with an open, honest heart"

-The Huffington Post

“Here is technique so good you're not even aware of it - and yet she never flaunts it, never gets in the way of the music. You're only aware that you want to move…” 

-Fanfare Magazine

Why do I make music?

Because music is my voice in the world. I don’t know a better way to open ears, hearts and minds, to break down borders and barriers, and to preserve a space for beauty in our noisy, chaotic world. 

Because it's a new day. It's a thrilling time to be making music for new audiences, in new ways, in new spaces, using new perspectives, references and technologies to expand the possibilities of the concert experience - to make that experience, itself, into a new kind of art.

BecauseI want my audiences to find new ways to hear music, think about music, and talk about music. 

Because music tells stories. I discover and share those stories with my audiences so that the music can resonate with your experiences of the world around you and the world of your own imagination. 

Because I love performing, in a glamorous concert hall, a club, or a 3rd-grade classroom. I love the electricity, the give and take of energy in the room. I love the exhilarating, exhausting feeling of playing my heart out, and the rush when an audience jumps to its feet at the end. I love the element of danger, and the high of a great performance. I love walking out of the stage door late at night, tired and hungry, knowing I’m going to do it all again tomorrow.

Because where I want to be is out here on the front lines making the world safe for classical music, one note at a time. Whether I’m at home in my studio or out on the road, packing or unpacking, doing my scales or doing my laundry, day in and day out, my life is a life in music.



18 Mar 2014
Lara's essay about her upcoming concert project in tribute to Billie Holiday.
29 Sep 2013
A mixture of playfulness and poetry informs Mr. Fairouz’s “Piano Miniatures,” a collection of short pieces in which he tries out different compositional devices or jots down personal memories. The collection is a work in progress; here the pianist...