Pianist Lara Downes takes us on a journey through the heart and soul of the USA with American Ballads, as she interprets 20th century works by Barber, Copland, Ives, Thompson and features the world premiere recording of jazz composer/saxophonist Benny Golson's On Gossamer Wings.This collection of solo pieces reflects the influence of popular music on our master composers and ...(展开全部) Pianist Lara Downes takes us on a journey through the heart and soul of the USA with American Ballads, as she interprets 20th century works by Barber, Copland, Ives, Thompson and features the world premiere recording of jazz composer/saxophonist Benny Golson's On Gossamer Wings.This collection of solo pieces reflects the influence of popular music on our master composers and captures the essence of the American spirit, brilliantly performed by one of today's remarkable talents.
Lara Downes has attracted attention as one of the most exciting and communicative pianists of today's younger generation. She has been cited by critics for her breathtaking virtuosity and penetrating, sensitive accounts of classical and romantic repertoire. She has been hailed as an artist worthy of placement in the highest rank of classical performers. Since making noteworthy debuts at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Ms. Downes performs regularly throughout Europe and the United States.
Ms. Downes eclectic and engaging programs encompass both the standard repertoire and works by young composers such as Augusta Read Thomas and Stephen Paulus. Her recent projects include a Copland Centennial recital, a recently discovered piano concerto by Clara Schumann, and a four-part recital series entitled This American Century. She recently made the world premiere recording of On Gossamer Wings by legendary jazz composer Benny Golson for the Arkadia/Postcards label.
The eldest of the three musical daughters of a civil-rights attorney mother and a Jamaican biochemist father, Ms. Downes began her piano studies at age five at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. At seven, she composed an opera based on the book Charlotte's Web, which was performed in San Francisco. Home-schooled through high school, Ms. Downes completed her advanced studies under Hans Graf at the Vienna Hochschule and with Rudolf Buchbinder at the Music Academy in Basel. She has received highest honors in the Claude Kahn, Palma d'Oro and Artists International competitions.
Ms. Downes' busy solo and chamber career is strongly impacted by her commitment to expanding and developing new audiences for the arts. She dedicates time during her concert tours to elementary school workshops, and has developed a wide network of community outreach through the University of California at Davis. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Arts Exchange, a project dedicated to building creative partnerships between the visual and performing arts. In her own words: "I'd like to re-define the concert experience, to give it new relevance in our 21st-century world".
Ms. Downes speaks fluent English, Italian, German and French. She lives in Northern California.
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Excursions, Op.20: I. Un Poco Allegro
Excursions, Op.20: II. In Show Blues Tempo
Excursions, Op.20: III. Allegretto
Excursions, Op.20: IV. Allegro Molto
Four Piano Blues: I. Freely Poetic
Four Piano Blues: II. Soft And Languid
Four Piano Blues: III. Muted And Sensuous
Four Piano Blues: IV. With Bounce
On Gossamer Wings
American Ballads: I. Streets Of Laredo
American Ballads: II. Wayfaring Stranger
American Ballads: III. The Bird
American Ballads: IV. Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair
American Ballads: V. Cod Liver Pie
North American Ballads: III. Down By The Riverside
Piano Sonata No.2: III. The Alcotts
The Plow That Broke The Plains, Ste: I. Prelude
The Plow That Broke The Plains, Ste: II. Cowboy Songs