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Lara Downes will receive 2016 Sphinx Medal of Excellence

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On March 16, 2016, Sphinx will honor three outstanding artists of color who demonstrate qualities of artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and great potential for leadership. One of these artists is the unique pianist - Lara Downes. Recipients of the 5th annual Sphinx Medals of Excellence will receive their award at the official Sphinx Medals of Excellence luncheon and honorees will be celebrated at a black-tie private dinner in Washington, D.C. The three Medalists will also each receive a $50,000 artist grant for their career development. 

A captivating presence both on and offstage Lara Downes is recognized as one of the most exciting and communicative classical artists of her generation. Called "a delightful artist with a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship" by NPR, and praised by the Washington Post for the "drama and nuance" and by the New York Times for her "loving attention to mood and color", Downes presents the piano repertoire - from iconic favorites to newly commissioned works - in new ways that bridge musical tastes, genres and audiences.