Professor Tania León Directs City-Wide Festival

February 18, 2014 | Brooklyn College

BROOKLYN, NY– Distinguished Professor Tania León has returned as artistic director for Composer’s Now, a month-long music festival spanning the five boroughs that features a wildly diverse array of works by living composers.

“They will be in attendance at many performances, panel discussions, and other events. The opportunity to interact with the composers is a unique feature,” says León, who is head of the composition division at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College.

The festival was launched in 2010 by León and fellow composer Laura Kaminsky, both of whom were looking to put a public face on the diversity and innovation of composers in the community, whose genres range from jazz to opera to indie and electronic music.

“The performing forces include solo artists, chamber ensembles, orchestras, opera, dance, and multimedia works,” says León. “There will be world and New York premieres, featuring emerging and established talents offering a plethora of sounds and styles.”

León will premiere her own composition “Ephos” for a piano and string quartet, on Friday, February 7 at Symphony Space. Distinguished Professor Ursula Oppens will be the pianist for this performance.

“It’s such fun actually to be able to work with a composer on the music that she or he has written,” said Oppens in a 2012 interview with Kaminsky for Composers Now.

“I grew up with a sense that all the great composers were dead,” said the head of the piano division at the Conservatory of Music and four-time Grammy nominee. “But one could never ask Beethoven what he really meant when he wrote something . . . People are writing terrific music today. And you can talk to them.”

León, a Latin Grammy and Grammy nominee herself, is a Cuban native and world-renowned composer. The well-decorated artist has taught at Brooklyn College for nearly 30 years. In 2010 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2000 she was named the Tow Distinguished Professor at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College.

The Composer’s Now festival was created in collaboration with The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, and The Cheswatyr Foundation.

Contact: Ernesto Mora / 718-951-6377 / emora@brooklyn.cuny.edu