Tania León is currently a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony and visited ConVal High School for a TASC Talk in the LHT. Ben Putnam delivered the formal introductions but Ms. León soon established a personal relationship with the student audience by sharing her life story, her inspiration to pursue her creative spark, and her belief in the power of artistic collaboration.
Born in Cuba, León is a vital personality on today’s music scene. She is highly regarded as a composer and conductor and equally recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and as an advisor to arts organizations. León has been the subject of profiles on ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, Univision — including their noted series “Orgullo Hispano,” which celebrates living American Latinos who have made invaluable contributions to society —, Telemundo and independent films.
Awards for her compositions include the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, NYSCA, the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Fund, ASCAP and Meet the Composer, among others. She has also received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Ácana, a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as Fromm Music Foundation and Koussevitsky Foundation commissions.
Recent premieres include Ethos, for piano and string quartet, written for Ursula Oppens and the Cassatt Quartet, commissioned by the New York State Council of the Arts for Symphony Space; del Caribe, soy!, commissioned by Saint Martha Concerts and premiered by Nestor Torres and Tania León; Inura, for voices, string and percussion, choreographed by Carlos dos Santos, commissioned and premiered by Dance Brazil; going…gone, commissioned by Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano; Esencia para Cuarteto de Cuerdas, commissioned by the Fromm Foundation; Ácana, for orchestra, a joint commission by Orpheus and the Purchase College Orchestra; Alma, for flute and piano, commissioned by Marya Martin; and Atwood Songs, for soprano and piano with text by Margaret Atwood, commissioned by the Eastman School of Music and Syracuse University.
León’s presentation which reviewed some of her work on the piano and via YouTube videos was, without doubt, one of the most inspiring TASC Talks for ConVal music and art students.