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Watch and Listen: Pianist Lara Downes Plays Clara Schumann and More! Live from WRTI 90.1

Pianist Lara Downes' playing has been praised as "luscious, moody, dreamy" (The New York Times) and "addicting" (The Huffington Post). She visited the WRTI 90.1 Performance Studio in October, 2019 to play music from her new CD, For Love of You and more. WRTI's Susan Lewis is host.

Lara Downes plays classical, jazz, and music that crosses genres.  Her recent albums include For Lenny, which won a 2017 Classical Foundation Recording Award, Holes in the Sky, celebrating women's contribution to American music, and For Love of You, her concerto recording debut.

WRTI Program, with comments by Lara Downes: 

Clara Wieck Schumann: Romance Op. 11, No.1

"A piece dedicated to Robert Schumann, symbolizing their betrothal and Clara's independence from her father."

Robert Schumann: Warum, Op. 12, No.3

"Composed in the turbulent period before Robert & Clara's engagement - there is a story about his inspiration for this piece, found in his questioning despair over the challenges in their relationship."

Florence Price: Memory Mist

"A recently discovered work from pioneering African American composer Florence Price, recorded for the first time on Holes in the Sky."

Elena Ruehr: Music Pink and Blue

"Clara Schumann has been an inspiration to generations of women in music - this is a piece commissioned by Elena Ruehr for my album Holes in the Sky, which celebrates the lineage of groundbreaking female musicians."

Jennifer Higdon: Notes of Gratitude 

"Also from Holes in the Sky - Jennifer's piece elicits a wonderful range of techniques and sounds from the piano, and I'm including this work in gratitude for Clara Schumann's legacy as a virtuoso pianist as well as a composer!"

Clara Wieck Schumann: Romance Op. 11, No.3   

"Circling back to close with another of Clara's Romances, Op. 11!"

Lara Downes released For Love of You on September 13, 2019 as a tribute to Clara Schumann, both pianist and composer, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of her birth.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.