Lara Downes

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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.
Ms. 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.

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