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Great minds meet in this intimate conversation between two award-winning artists—the legendary composer Philip Glass and Cuban-American composer Tania León. León discusses her fascinating life, art and influences with Glass. Throughout the evening, selections of León’s critically-acclaimed music will be performed on piano by award-winning pianist Adam Kent.
Tania León, born in Cuba, is highly regarded as a composer and conductor who has directed orchestras across the globe. In March 2009, the ballet Inura, with music by León and choreography by Carlos dos Santos premiered at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. In 2008, León served as U.S. Artistic Ambassador of American Culture in Madrid, Spain and held a Composer/Conductor residency at the Beijing Central Conservatory, China. Her work, Horizons, was performed by The National Symphony of China, in the opening concert of China’s Beijing International Congress of Women in Music. Recent awards for her work include a Pulitzer Prize nomination (2008) for Ácana, La Distinción de Honor de la Rosa Blanca from the Patronato José Martí for her contribution to Cuban culture in the field of music, a Guggenheim Fellowship (2007), and a Fromm Music Foundation commission. In 2006, León was named Distinguished Professor of the City University of New York. In 2010, in addition to being elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters, León was officially invited to Havana by Cuban master conductor Leo Brouwer, where, for the first time, her music was performed in her native country. Her work, To And Fro (4 Moods), was nominated for a 2010 Latin Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
Philip Glass is one of the world’s best known composers. His landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach (1976), on which he collaborated with Robert Wilson, is one of the works that brought him worldwide recognition as a modern composer. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). Glass has received an Oscar nomination for his Notes score. Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8—Glass’ latest symphonies—along with Waiting for the Barbarians, an opera based on the book by J.M. Coetzee, premiered in 2005. In April 2007, the English National Opera, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Opera, remounted Glass’ Satyagraha, which appeared in New York in April 2008. Glass’ recent opera, Kepler, based on the life and work of Johannes Kepler and commissioned by Linz 2009, Cultural Capital of Europe, and Landestheater Linz, premiered in September 2009 in Linz, Austria and in November 2009 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Adam Kent has performed in recital, as soloist with orchestra, and in chamber music throughout the United States, Spain, Switzerland, and South America. A winner of the American Pianists Association Fellowship and Simone Belsky Music Awards, Mr. Kent also received top prizes in the Thomas Richner, the Juilliard Concerto, and the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competitions and is a recipient of the Arthur Rubinstein Prize and the Harold Bauer Award. Mr. Kent made his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in 1989 and has been featured numerous times on radio stations WQXR, WNYC, and WFUV. Recent concerts have included solo and chamber music performances at the Burgos International Music and the León Spanish Music Festivals in Spain as well as Mr. Kent’s fifth annual appearance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in a solo recital co-sponsored by the Spanish Consulate and the Foundation for Iberian Music. Mr. Kent’s solo recordings are available on Bridge and SMF Records.
Jessica Lynne and DéLana R.A. Dameron reflect on ways they make a home, creatively, wherever they are.