Lara Downes is busy. She's about to start recording Exiles' Cafe- the follow-up to her successful 13Ways of Looking at the Goldberg album. She's one of the prominent artists in the upcoming Classical Revolution Music Festival, headlining a concert at Salle Pianos on September 8 before heading off to give a series of concerts in Virgina.
She writes an interesting, revealving and lively blog, On the Bench: Conversations with Other Pianists and is seemingly always present in the online world.
On top of all of that, she's deeply involved with the The Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition, which she started and is now in its seventh year. Growing into a national competition open to artists in two age groups (10-16 and 17-21), this year's competition is expanding auditions to Portland, New York, Davis and Los Angeles. Though auditions begin at the end of September, the deadline to apply is August 31st (prizes range from $2000 to $6000). You can read more about it on On the Bench, which has links and information.
I'll be writing more about Downes soon, because on top of everything else she's involved in, she's agreed to sit down with me for a chat.