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Classical Album of the Week: For Lenny

Week of February 26, 2018. Pianist Lara Downes has put together a fascinating tribute to Leonard Bernstein, celebrating the 100th birthday of the conductor/composer/pianist. The album For Lenny: An Intimate Tribute to Leonard Bernstein and his American Legacy features Bernstein’s aptly-named Anniversaries for Piano, new arrangements of his songs, and world premieres of works dedicated to Bernstein by leading American composers.

Taking her inspiration from Bernstein’s boundary-breaking approach to music making, Downes has invited a diverse group of guest artists and composers to join her. 

You'll hear opera legend Thomas Hampson, roots singer Rhiannon Giddens, superstar beatboxer Kevin “K.O.” Olusola (a member of the chart-topping a cappella group Pentatonix), and Mexican/American clarinet prodigy Javier Morales-Martinez. 

The album includes compositions dedicated to Bernstein by Stephen Sondheim, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz and others.

“Of all the many musicians who inspire me, it's Leonard Bernstein who turns up, more or less every day, by my side, over my shoulder, reminding me of what a musician can be." –Lara Downes

Listen this week as we present highlights of this groundbreaking tribute album by Lara Downes