American pianist Lara Downes has garnered wide acclaim as one of the most exciting and communicative pianists of today's generation called "a delightful artist with a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship" by NPR. Born in San Francisco and raised in Europe, Downes' musical outlook reflects the diversity of her personal heritage and extensive travels with a wide range of creative projects inspired by music from Bach to Billie Holiday, with a unique style that the Huffington Post calls" addicting -with an open, honest heart. Lara has won over audiences on diverse stages ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to Le Poisson Rouge and Zinc Bar. Lara is heard regularly on national radio programs including NPR Music, Sirius XM Symphony Hall, MPR's Performance Today. She is the producer and host of The Green Room, distributed nationally by WFMT Chicago. Downes is the 2016 laureate of the Sphinx Organization Medals of Excellence award. ?
Alexander Bernstein is Leonard Bernstein's second child. He is president of Artful Learning Inc.,and founding chairman of The Leonard Bernstein Center For Learning. Prior to his full-time participation in the center, Bernstein taught for five years at the Packer-Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, first as a second grade teacher, then as a teacher of drama for the middle school. He has studied acting, performed professionally, and worked as a production associate at the ABC News Documentary Unit. Bernstein holds a Master's degree in English education from New York University and a Bachelor's degree from Harvard University. ?