Meet Your New Evening Host: Lara Downes

Lara Downes

We’re excited to announce that KUSC Resident Artist Lara Downes is your new evening host. Beginning March 18, tune into Evening Music with Lara Downes, weeknights 8PM – Midnight, for a nightly program featuring classical music spanning centuries and styles, specially chosen and explored to reveal unique insights and context.

“I look forward to spreading the joy and love of classical music and sharing stories that I hope will appeal to classical music aficionados and those newcomers to this incredible and magical genre.”

-Lara Downes

Lara has been filling in as evening host following Jim Svejda’s retirement in February 2022. You may also know Lara for her incredible work as a pianist, Billboard Chart-topping recording artist, producer, curator, activist, and arts advocate. You’ve also seen her host the popular digital series Amplify with Lara Downes as well as numerous specials on KUSC over the past year.

“Lara is truly one of America’s great classical music ambassadors. She brings so many strengths to this role — as an artist, a storyteller and an advocate for seeking out and showcasing the full range of composers and performers from our classical past and present. It is hard to follow in the footsteps of the great Jim Svejda, but the audience response to her on KUSC has been so positive that we knew we found the right host to continue our mission of nurturing a love of classical music for all.”

-KUSC President Judy McAlpine

Lara will also continue her role as KUSC’s Resident Artist, curating and creating new digital content specially designed with our community in mind, sharing a more in-depth look at the creativity and history that has shaped our musical lives. To learn more about Lara, please click here.

A quick reminder: you can also hear Brian Lauritzen for an extra hour each weekday evening from 7PM – 8PM. You can read more about the schedule change, including Jim’s retirement, here.

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KUSC Staff

Classical KUSC, located in the USC building in downtown Los Angeles, broadcasts hand-picked commercial-free classical performances, expert music commentary and coverage of the arts in Southern California. The listener-supported station has been broadcasting for more than 60 years as a broadcast service of the University of Southern California at 91.5(FM) in Los Angeles and Santa Clarita, 88.5 KPSC in Palm Springs, 91.1 KDSC in Thousand Oaks, 93.7 KDB in Santa Barbara and 99.7 KESC in Morro Bay/San Luis Obispo. It is live-streamed at, attracting listeners from around the globe.