In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month NEW LATINA will feature five amazing of Latinas of the past and present, each week. We are proud to kick off our Hispanic Heritage Month series with the fabulous voices, faces and minds of Latin music!
Tania León (May 14, 1943) is a Cuban-born composer, conductor, pianist, co-founder of the Dance Theater of Harlem and educator. Born in Habana, Cuba, León began playing the piano at age four. Influenced by both Eurocentric classical and “indigenous” Cuban music, León went on to attain her B.A. from the Carlos Alfredo Peyrellade Conservatory in 1963 and her Master’s from the National Conservatory of Cuba in 1964. Tania León then moved to New York City in 1967, where she studied music at NYU where she received both her B.S. and M.S. in 1971 and 1973, respectively.Tania León went on to become one of the founding members of the Dance Theater of Harlem, where she established the music department, music school and orchestra. Tania León enjoyed a successful career as a musical composer, composing approximately twenty-five chamber works, seven orchestral works, eleven vocal works, two piano solos and one opera. Throughout her career, Tania León has been awarded several professional accolades, including awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, the Lila Wallace/ Reader’s Digest Fund, and the New York Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received honorary doctorates from Colgate University and Oberlin College, and has served as a Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University, Visiting Professor at Yale University and the Musikschule in Hamburg, Germany. Throughout her career, however, Tania León has taught music at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, in New York, since 1985.In 2010, Tania León’s work was performed in Cuba for the first time, at the Leo Brouwer Festival of Chamber Music. Tania León’s music and career have been profiled on NBC, CBS, PBS and Univision.
For more information about Tania León and her work, click on the link below: