Lara Downes Shares Perspective on American Music

Photo credit: Areon Mobasher

At a special lecture on the morning of Monday, September 18, musical artist Lara Downes spoke to a room full of students about her journey through reconnecting to American Music, with a special focus on Leonard Bernstein’s influence. The lecture was presented as a facilitated conversation led by Jackson Cooper of Chamber Music Raleigh.

 

A major theme of the lecture was Downe’s most recent work, which pays tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s “Anniversary” programs. These 1-3 minute pieces were composed to honor a number of Bernstein’s friends and relatives. Downe’s project, called Anniversaries for Lenny, includes many of Bernstein’s original compositions as well as newly commissioned Anniversaries in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth.

 

Alongside an album recording, Anniversaries for Lenny was performed live on Sunday at the NC Museum of Art, with narration by the son of Leonard Bernstein, Alexander Bernstein. The show was presented by Chamber Music Raleigh.

Photo credit: Areon Mobasher