This award was generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. _
Tania León is a highly regarded composer, conductor, and educator. León’s recent commissions include Little Rock Nine, an opera with libretto by Thulani Davis and historical research by Henry Louis Gates Jr., and new works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Her appearances as guest conductor include the Symphony Orchestra of Marseille, the Gewandhausorchester Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Guanajuato, and Orquesta Sinfonica de Cuba. León is a founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, co-founded the American Composers Orchestra “Sonidos de las Americas Festivals,” and instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series. She was New Music Advisor to the New York Philharmonic and is the founder and Artistic Director of Composers Now.
Her honors include the New York Governor’s Lifetime Achievement and the ASCAP Victor Herbert Awards, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2017, she received a proclamation from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for Composers Now. León received Honorary Doctorate degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin, and SUNY Purchase Colleges. She served as the U.S. Artistic Ambassador of American Culture in Madrid, Spain. She has been a professor at Brooklyn College since 1985 and was named a Distinguished Professor of the City University of New York in 2006.