Photo by Michael Provost

Photo by Michael Provost


Tania León

Composer & Conductor;
Founding Artistic Director, Composers Now

Tania León 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, and Telemundo, and in independent films.

Recent commissions include a new work for Project 19 with the New York Philharmonic, “The Little Rock Nine,” an opera with libretto by Thulani Davis and historical research by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “Ser” for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and “One Mo’ Time” for the Da Capo Chamber Players.

Appearances as guest conductor include the Symphony Orchestra of Marseille, France; the Gewandhausorchester Orchestra, Germany; and Orquesta Sinfonica de Guanajuato, Mexico among others.

Her honors include the 2018 US Artist Fellowship, the New York Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Eileen Southern Distinguished Visitor, Harvard University as well as doctorate degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin, and SUNY Purchase.

A founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Leon instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series, was co-founder of the American Composers Orchestra “Sonidos de las Americas Festivals,” new music advisor to the New York Philharmonic, and founder, artistic director of Composers Now, a nonprofit in New York City founded in 2010 and dedicated to empowering all living composers, while celebrating the diversity of their voices and honoring the significance of their contributions to the cultural fabric of society.

A professor at Brooklyn College since 1985, she was named Distinguished Professor of the City University of New York in 2006. In 2010 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 2013 she was the recipient of the prestigious 2013 ASCAP Victor Herbert Award. Most recently she was awarded a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship and is a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. Click here to listen to Tania’s music on Spotify.