MIAMI, United States. – The renowned Cuban composer and conductor residing in the United States Tania León received this Wednesday honors from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, for her contributions to American culture.
Along with the Cuban they were distinguished the actor George Clooney, the singers Gladys Knight and Amy Grant and the rock band U2.
Before this Wednesday’s gala, the Kennedy Center had organized several tributes to recognized artists, who were recently invited to a reception at the White House with US President Joe Biden.
At that ceremony, Biden referred to the awardees as “an exceptional group of artists.”
For his part, the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, expressed that the works of Tania León touched on “issues ranging from women’s suffrage and integration, to the brutality of the military government.”
“In any of his 40 chamber works, 10 orchestral pieces and six ballets, it is very likely that instruments such as the marimba, djembe and bongos will be heard as well as flutes, oboes and bassoons”, he stressed.
Tania León, born in Havana, left Cuba as a refugee in 1967 and settled in New York. In this city she founded the Harlem Dance Theater and instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series. In addition, she was co-founder of the Sounds of the Americas festival, of the American Composers Orchestra.
The Cuban has been a guest conductor in the most prestigious orchestras in the world, such as the Beethovenhalle Orchestra in Bonn; the Gewandhausorchester, from Leipzig; the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, from Rome; and the South African National Symphony Orchestra.
Among the many awards he has received is the pulitzer prize of Music 2021 for his piece “Stride”.
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