By Matthew Billiot, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Lara Downes, described as a trailblazer and among the “foremost American pianists of her generation,” will perform the first concert on Campbellsville University’s School of Music’s new Yamaha CFX concert grand piano Thursday, Sept. 26.
The concert is at 7 p.m. in The Gheens Recital Hall, located in the Gosser Fine Arts Center at 210 University Drive, Campbellsville.
The concert is the first of the new academic year. Ticket prices are $50 and can be purchased by contacting the School of Music by email at email@example.com or by phone at (270) 789-5237. Ticket sales will go toward the cost of the new piano.
Campbellsville University is the first school in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to acquire this “one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art piano,” according to the Yamaha sales representatives.
Autographed Lara Downes CDs will be available for purchase at the event.
Downes is said to be among the foremost American pianists of her generation, an iconoclast dedicated to expanding the resonance and relevance of live music for diverse audiences. She has also been called a trailblazer on and off the stage.
She plays classical crossover, jazz, traditional jazz and relaxation music.
Downes finds her inspiration in “the legacies of history, family and collective memory.”
She has had reviews from Fanfare Magazine which called her capabilities “ravishing.” The New York Times said her music was “luscious, moody and dreamy” and The Huffington Post said her music is “addicting.”
As a chart-topping recording artist, a powerfully charismatic performer, a curator and tastemaker, Downes is recognized as a cultural visionary on the national arts scene.
The National Public Radio called Downes’ “America Again” one of the “10 Albums that Saved 2016.”
“For Lenny,” her Sony classical, debuted in the Billboard Top 20 and received the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award.
Downes has collaborated with folk icon Judy Collins, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, baritone Thomas Hampson, former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove and multi-instrumentalist/composer/singer Rhiannon Giddens.
Her partnerships with composers span both genres and generations. Some of those collaborations were with Jennifer Higdon, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz, Paola Prestini, Sarah Kirkland Snider and many others.
Downes is committed to advocating for the importance of the arts. She does so by working with non-profits such as: The Lower Eastside Girls Club of NY, PLAN International, the Sphinx Organization and NPR’s From The Top, where she appeared as a featured guest host in spring 2019.
“Holes in the Sky” is her most recent Sony Masterworks, which is called “a celebration of the contributions of phenomenal women to the past, present and future of American music.” It was released in March 2019 and debuted at the top of the Billboard charts.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.
Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.