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Classical Music
If you look at the listings of the major orchestras in America you will see two things in common; very few of them are programming major pieces by women composers, and almost none have a woman on the podium. Despite the abundance of wonderful compositions by women, the world of classical music has been, for centuries, a man’s world.

Lara Downes, Pianist, Arts Advocate & Broadcaster

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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.