Carrizozo Music is pleased to announce that pianist, Lara Downes, will perform in Carrizozo on Friday, May 11, at 6 PM at Trinity United Methodist Church. The free performance of American Icons is a tribute to Leonard Bernstein and other composers of his era including George Gershwin and Billie Holiday.
Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, an iconoclast dedicated to expanding the resonance and relevance of American 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. Downes’ playing has been called “ravishing” by Fanfare Magazine, "luscious, moody and dreamy” by The New York Times, and "addicting - Downes plays with an open, honest heart" by The Huffington Post.
Downes’ newest release and Sony Music debut album FOR LENNY is an intimate centennial tribute to Leonard Bernstein and his American legacy. The album was awarded the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award and debuted in the Billboard Top 20. Classical Candor writes, “Downes’ sensitive, nuanced playing brings out the best in everything… Her poignant artistry is first-rate, and she makes an exemplary communicator of all things Bernstein and all things American.” Downes says “As time goes by, I realize that the evolution of a project is one of the most powerful things to experience in this work of mine. An idea develops and shifts as it is shaped by both internal and external forces. So it's been with FOR LENNY, which began as a tribute to the American vision of Leonard Bernstein, and has become a vehicle for me to further his vision - his belief that music has real power to heal, connect and strengthen us in times of crisis or tragedy. LB acted on that vision, fiercely and boldly, throughout his life. He directed his music toward social justice, dedicated it towards shining light and giving hope.”
Born in San Francisco and raised in Europe, Downes’ interest in connecting music to a broad and inclusive breadth of human experience mines her mixed Jamaican and Russian background and peripatetic upbringing to find inspiration in unexpected places. She enjoys collaborating with myriad artists, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, baritone Thomas Hampson, singer Rhiannon Giddens, jazz vocalist Theo Bleckmann, beatboxer Kevin "K.O." Olusola, writer Adam Gopnik, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. Her collaborations with leading composers span genres and generations to bring significant new contributions to the American repertoire.
A laureate of the 2016 Sphinx Medal of Excellence award, Downes is recognized as a leader in expanding the reach of the arts as a performer, an entrepreneur, and a cultural visionary. She is an Artist-in-Residence at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts - UC Davis, where she mentors young musicians as director of the National Young Artists Program. She serves on the advisory board of The Time In Children's Arts Initiative and is the founding director of the My Promise Project. Downes has performed on stages ranging from Carnegie Hall, John F. Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the U.S. Supreme Court, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Vienna Konzerthaus.
To reach Trinity United Methodist Church from route 54, turn West at 12th Street, between the 54 Emporium and Roy's Ice Cream Parlor. Turn right onto D Ave and go two blocks to the church, 1000 D Ave, Carrizozo, NM.
For information about Carrizozo Music, Inc., the 2018 season schedule and concert updates please check www.carrizozomusic.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Elaine at 575-648-2757. Carrizozo Music, a 501c3, sponsors a series of classical concerts, summer Portico Concerts and an extensive school outreach program of concerts and workshops, with a commitment to providing free quality music to the students and residents of Lincoln County and the surrounding area.