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Lara Downes, Pianist, Arts Advocate & Broadcaster

Feb 8, 2021

Lara Downes, Pianist, Arts Advocate & Broadcaster

American pianist Lara  Downes began taking piano lessons at age five, and made her debut 10 years later at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Throughout her career she has been passionately committed to seeking out and performing forgotten music by Black composers. In October 2020 NPR Music launched AMPLIFY With Lara Downes, a bi-weekly series of intimate video conversations with visionary Black musicians who are shaping the present and future of the art form.

Downes’ commitment to arts advocacy, mentorship and education sees her working in support of non-profit organizations including PLAN International, the Sphinx Organization, the Lower Eastside Girls Club, Washington Performing Arts, and NPR’s From the Top, where she appears as a rotating guest host.

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