Monday, February 7, 2011 on Composer Tania León: 'Cuban artist celebrates her heritage in song'

[Tania León]

The Daily Evergreen
Washington State University
Julie Eckardt
Published: 02/07/2011
“This weekend marked the 22nd annual Festival of Contemporary Art Music. This year’s special guest was the Cuban-born Tania León, who had her compositions featured at the big event Saturday night and visited classrooms to speak about her music.”

“Saturday night was the big event, all pieces by the guest composer León. Each piece showed a little part of her: her heritage, family and background. 'I try to honor all the different members of my family. They are very diverse and they had a sense of culture … I’m a little bit of everything, so therefore for me to do that it’s very easy. I don’t even think about it," León said.

“Her first piece, 'De Memorias,' is dedicated to her teacher Alfredo Diez Nieto. In the second, 'Elegia a Paul Robeson,' featured a violin, cello and piano and had a gentler, celestial feel. Featuring the Concert Choir, conducted by School of Music associate professor Lori Wiest, the third piece, 'Drume Negrita,' went back to León’s Cuban roots and had everyone swaying back and forth to the music. After a brief intermission, the performers dove right into “Alma,” a piece inspired by Puerto Rican poet Carmen A. Vega Schimmenti.”

“The show ended with a lively piece, 'Cumba Cumbakin,' based off the sounds of drums. The wind ensemble took this one on, combining all elements to make a good end to a great weekend of festivities. 'You hear that? That is how I grew up,' León said.” [The website of Tania Justina León is; she is also profiled at]

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