UW Today

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November 17, 2010

Pianist Lara Downes to kick off Presidents Piano Series Dec. 1

News and Information

Lara Downes

The Presidents Piano Series for the 2010-11 season begins with the UW World Series debut of pianist Lara Downes, who will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Meany Hall.

A Steinway Concert Artist, Downes is captivating audiences throughout Europe and the United States with recent concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, in New York, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and the American Academy in Rome. National Public Radio called Downes playing “delightful… a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship.”

Downes will perform a repertoire of works by American composers, including Four Piano Blues and selections from Rodeo by Aaron Copland; Excursions by Samuel Barber; Fantasie Negre by Florence Price; American Ballads by Roy Harris and the historic Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.

Tickets are $30 for general admission, $27 Subscribers, $28 for UW faculty, staff and alumni, and $20 for students. Tickets may be purchased by phone at 206-543-4880, online at uwworldseries.org, or in person at the UW Arts Ticket Office. Half-price, cash-only rush tickets are available to students and seniors (age 60 and up) 30 minutes before curtain at the Meany Hall Box Office, also subject to availability.

Downes has won over audiences at some of the world’s most prestigious concert venues. She is currently serving as Artist in Residence at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis, where she is the host and co-curator of the Studio Classics series. Lara has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, WNYC’s New Sounds, and WBGO’s Jazz Set, and she will be featured in an upcoming documentary produced by WQXR.

In addition to the excitement Lara brings to the concert stage, her commercial recordings have been met with critical and popular acclaim. Her debut CD, Invitation to the Dance, was called “a magical little recording” by NPR, and her CD American Ballads was ranked by Amazon.com among the four best recordings of American music ever made.

The UW World Series is one of Seattles leading performing arts organizations, presenting innovative, provocative and diverse international artists in music, theater, and dance at Meany Hall. More than 450 visiting artists from around the world have performed as part of the UW World Series. The eclectic mix of programming has given Northwest audiences a broad view of the world of performing arts, from sampling unique cultural traditions to experiencing innovative new works that expand the scope and direction of contemporary performing arts.