Songwriter/Composer Sessions: GRAMMY-Nominated Conductor & Composer Tania León On Her Beginnings, Inspiring Young Musicians & What Beethoven Means To Her
For more than five decades, Tania León has been a force to be reckoned with in the classical sphere.
The GRAMMY-nominated composer of large-scale and chamber works has won a New York Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award and a Pulitzer Prize In Music, the latter for her orchestral work "Stride," which the New York Philharmonic commissioned. Her recent commissions include works for New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Grossman Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and pianist Ursula Oppens with Cassatt String Quartet.
León, who's held numerous residencies and faculty positions from Yale to Yaddo and beyond, today serves as an Honorary Chair for the Recording Academy's Songwriters & Composers Wing, a newly launched Academy membership division representing a vast and diverse community of music creators within these crafts.
Now, in the debut episode of Songwriter/Composer Sessions, a new series presented by the Songwriters & Composers Wing, León reflects on how her family life shaped her passions and how she wants to inspire up-and-coming music creators in the future.
"I think it's important to listen to the young musicians. The reason a young musician goes to a conservatory or to a university or whatever to study music is because they have the music inside already," she says in the episode. "The purpose is to get the music out of them, as opposed to [imposing] on them the music we prefer."
Check out the first episode of Songwriter/Composer Sessions above to learn more about how León wants to make the classical world a welcoming place for everyone—young or old, experienced or not.