Lara Downes has garnered wide acclaim as one of the most exciting and communicative pianists of today's generation, lauded by NPR as a delightful artist with a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship and praised by the Washington Post for her stunning performances rendered with drama and nuance. Lara’s innovative explorations of the piano repertoire - from iconic favorites to newly commissioned works - bridge musical genres, traditions and audiences.
Born in San Francisco of Caribbean and Russian heritage, Downes began piano lessons at age 4, and later spent a decade studying and performing with her sisters in Europe, in what she calls a “gypsy-like existence” that took the family from Paris to Venice, Vienna, Basel and Rome.
Since making early debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Salle Gaveau Paris, Lara has appeared on the world’s greatest concert stages, winning over audiences at diverse venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Le Poisson Rouge, the Kennedy Center to Classical Revolution.
Downes’ solo recordings have met with tremendous critical and popular acclaim. Her last solo CD, Exiles’ Café (Steinway & Sons, 2013) topped the bestseller charts and was called “ravishing” by Fanfare Magazine. Some Other Time (Steinway & Sons, 2014), her recent duo recording with cellist Zuill Bailey, debuted in the Billboard Top 10 and was called luscious, moody and dreamy by the New York Times.