Composer-conductor Tania León named a 2022 Kennedy Center honoree

Posted on: July 21, 2022

“The Irish rock group U2, actor-filmmaker George Clooney, singers Gladys Knight and Amy Grant, and composer-conductor Tania León will be saluted for their achievements in the arts at the 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors Dec. 4 at the national arts center,” writes Peggy McGlone in Thursday’s (7/21) Washington Post. “Recognized as an ambassador of new music, León is an award-winning composer, conductor and teacher who was one of the founders of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and a lifelong advocate for classical music’s living composers…. León’s grandmother enrolled her in music classes when she was a young child in Cuba. The classically trained pianist left for Miami in 1967 [and] moved to New York… León was new-music adviser to the New York Philharmonic in the 1990s … and launched the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Community Concert Series. She founded Composers Now, an organization that commissions and advocates for living composers and taught generations of students at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center from 1985 until retiring in 2019. Her work ‘Stride’ … commissioned by the New York Philharmonic … was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music.” Said León, “I mold myself, reinvent myself, create myself. It is still ongoing.”