Tania León, born in Cuba, a vital personality on today's music scene, is is a highly regarded composer and conductor recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. She has been the subject of profiles on ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, Univision (including their noted series "Orgullo Hispano" which celebrates living American Latinos whose contributions in society have been invaluable), Telemundo and independent films.
TANIA LEÓN WORKING ON OPERA COMMISSION, LITTLE ROCK NINE, FOR UNIV. OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Little Rock Nine, an opera composed by Tania León with libretto by Thulani Davis and historical research by Henry Louis Gates Jr., has been commissioned by the University of Central Arkansas College of Fine Arts and Communication. León and Davis will create a two hour score based on the true story of nine African-American students who, in 1957, under federal troop escort, entered all-white Central High School to obtain an equal education. Little Rock and "The Nine" came to symbolize the federal government's commitment to eliminating separate systems of education for blacks and whites. The Little Rock Crisis of 1957 was "the most severe test of the Constitution since the Civil War," with nine black children seeking equal education at its center. The opera promises to "give voice to those who were mostly seen through grainy newsreels," and asks "[what will] win out: betrayal or courage, rage or principle, hate or the dignity of rising by learning?" A universal and original story of heroism in the face of racial prejudice, the opera is expected to resonate with a diverse audience. For more information, visit UCA's website.
Funders for the commission, development and premiere of the opera include the Multi-Arts Production Fund (MAP Fund), The National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and the Fred Darragh Foundation.
NEW YORK CITY MAYOR'S PROCLAMATION HONORS COMPOSERS NOW
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs reported that they were proud to proclaim February 1st as "Composers Now Festival Day" on behalf of Mayor Bill de Blasio. Presented to Artistic Director Tania J. León of Composers Now by NYCulture Assistant Commissioner Kathi Hughes, the proclamation said, in part: "Whereas: In a city of 8.5 million people, many of whom hail from around the world, our arts scene is as diverse as our residents. We are tremendously proud of the many different global traditions and heritages that have helped to shape our cultural landscape, and my administration is determined to provide people of all backgrounds with the opportunity to participate in our dynamic arts communities. With a mission to empower all living composers and honor their incredible work, Composers Now is an important ally in these efforts." A photo of León accepting the honor at the 2017 Festival Opening Event can be seen on the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs' Facebook page.
NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN COMPOSERS NOW AND CIVITELLA RANIERI
Composers Now, under the artistic direction of Tania León, has announced the expansion of its Creative Residencies initiative with a new partnership with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, based in the Umbria Region of Italy. Two composers, each selected by Composers Now, will receive a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship consisting of a six-week residency at the center in addition to travel, room and board. Residencies will take place in 2016 and 2017. Read the entire press release