San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Lara Downes

A captivating presence both on and offstage, critically acclaimed Steinway Concert Artist Lara Downes is redefining the solo recital format with visionary, cutting-edge performances at prestigious concert venues worldwide. Lauded by NPR as “a delightful artist with a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship” and praised by the Washington Post for her stunning performances “rendered with drama and nuance,” Lara presents the piano repertoire – from iconic favorites to newly commissioned works – in new ways that bridge musical tastes, genres and audiences. Released on commercial CD to rave reviews in September 2011, 13 WAYS of Looking at the Goldberg is thirteen new “re-imaginings” of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, including works by some of todays most acclaimed composers – Jennifer Higdon, Lukas Foss, Bright Sheng, David del Tredici, William Bolcom, Fred Hersch and Derek Bermel and others. These brilliant contemporary voices invoke the Goldbergs in broadly different ways, celebrating both the eternal beauty of Bach’s music and the musical evolutions of the past 250 years. In this wonderfully imaginative musical journey, Lara interprets brilliant variations that range in mood from lyrical to tempestuous, traveling from neo-romanticism to jazz and back again to a Bachian contrapuntalism.

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:


distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact for more information.