The world renowned, Grammy Award winning cellist Zuill Bailey is joined by pianist Lara Downes in an album of 20th-century American music.
The transcriptions and concert pieces collected here are all big, beautiful examples of nostalgic American music. But this is timeless music too, and its romanticism, spirit of adventure, playfulness, and purity tap into our collective memory, our underlying, ongoing, deeply American nostalgia for what we all know as, simply, some other time.
“Zuill Bailey’s soulful cello and Lara Downes’s clean and sensitive piano playing prove perfect travel mates.”
New York Times
“The recital as a whole is engaging, original, and insightful, bringing together a particular musical scene in a fresh way, and the studio sound is superb. Highly recommended.”
“Bailey and Downes plumb some genuine musical depths... it is exceptionally well played: both performers treat the lesser works with the same care and skill that they bring to the more-imposing ones.”
About the Artists
Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world, is a Grammy Award winner, distinguished soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, Artistic Director and teacher. His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought after and active cellists today.
Recent highlights include appearances with orchestras such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Israel, San Francisco, Toronto, Nashville, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and the Philharmonia (UK) with conductors Itzhak Perlman, Carlos Kalmar, Neeme Jarvi, Jun Markl, Stanislav Skrowaczewski, Alan Gilbert, Andrey Borekyo, Krzysztof Urbanski, Giancarlo Guerrero, Andrew Litton, Grant Llewellyn and James DePriest. He was honored as the distinguished Alumnus of 2014 by Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute.
Zuill Bailey is a renowned recording artist with over thirty titles. Mr. Bailey won a best solo performance Grammy Award in 2017 for his live recording of Tales of Hemingway by composer Michael Daugherty. His celebrated Bach Cello Suites, Britten Cello Symphony/Sonata with pianist Natasha Paremski, Haydn Cello Concertos, and recently released Schumann/Brahms Concertos CDs immediately soared to the number one spot on the Classical Billboard Charts. Other critically acclaimed recordings include his live performances with the Indianapolis Symphony of the Bloch Schelomo, Muhly Cello Concerto (World Premiere), Brahms Sextets with the Cypress Strings Quartet, Elgar and Dvorak Cello Concertos, described by Gramophone magazine as the new “reference” recording and one that “sweeps the board.” In addition, the Dvorak Cello Concerto CD is listed in the Penguin’s Guide as one the Top 1000 Classical Recordings of all time. Other releases include his innovative Spanish Masters CD for Zenph Studios, where he forms a unique duo blending with recordings of composer Manuel de Falla, and an all-American recital program with pianist Lara Downes on the Steinway & Sons label.
Mr. Bailey performs on the "rosette" 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. He is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica (Texas), the Sitka Summer Music Festival/Series and Cello Seminar, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival (Washington), the “Classical Inside and Out,” at the Mesa Arts Center (Arizona) and Director of the Center for Arts Entrepreneurship and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, a trailblazer on and off-stage whose musical roadmap seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family, and collective memory.
Downes’ playing has been called “ravishing” by Fanfare Magazine, "luscious, moody and dreamy” by The New York Times, and "addicting" by The Huffington Post. As a chart-topping recording artist, a powerfully charismatic performer, a curator and taste-maker, Downes is recognized as a cultural visionary on the national arts scene.Lara's forays into the broad landscape of American music have created a series of acclaimed recordings, including America Again, selected by NPR as one of "10 Albums that Saved 2016", and hailed as "a balm for a country riven by disunion" by the Boston Globe.
Downes enjoys creative collaborations with a range of leading artists, including multi-instrumentalist/composer/singer Rhiannon Giddens, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, folk icon Judy Collins, baritone Thomas Hampson, writer Adam Gopnik, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. Her close partnerships with prominent composers span genres and generations, with premieres and commissions coming from Jennifer Higdon, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz, Paola Prestini, Clarice Assad, Michael Abels, and many others.
Downes’ fierce commitment to arts advocacy, mentorship and education sees her working in support of non-profit organizations including PLAN International, the Sphinx Organization, the Lower Eastside Girls Club, Washington Performing Arts, and NPR’s From The Top, where she appears as a rotating guest host.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.