Amplifying Voices Premiere: Tania León’s Pasajes with Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
    Robinson Center, 426 W Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72201
  • April 10, 2022
    3:00 pm
  • Amplifying Voices

New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program, which fosters collaboration toward racial and gender equity in new orchestral music, has over thirty orchestras from across the United States signed up to premiere new works co-commissioned from nine of today’s leading composers: Valerie Coleman, Juan Pablo Contreras, Vijay Iyer, Tania León, Jessie Montgomery, Brian Raphael Nabors, Nina Shekhar, Tyshawn Sorey, and Shelley Washington. Each of the composer’s pieces will be performed by a minimum of four orchestras.

The first premieres of these new works begin this spring. On April 9 and 10, 2022, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Akiko Fujimoto will premiere Tania León’s new work Pasajes (“Passages”) in Little Rock, Arkansas. Pasajes recalls scenes from her life growing up, including a song reminiscent of the melodies of Latin American cultures, rhythms indicating the pulse of Caribbean culture, and the dances of carnaval.

Born in Havana, Cuba, composer and conductor Tania León settled in New York in 1967. She has played important roles at Dance Theater of Harlem, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic (as New Music Advisor). León is the founder and artistic director of Composers Now. Notable commissions include works for the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. León’s honors include induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters; recognition from the Fromm, Koussevitzky, and Guggenheim Foundations; ASCAP’s Victor Herbert Award; and a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship. Her works have received Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc. exists to connect, enrich, inspire and advance Arkansas through the power of music. Incorporated in 1966, the ASO now performs more than 60 concerts per season, which includes the Masterworks and Pops Concerts. Comprised of the state’s most sought after professional musicians, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is heard by more than 165,000 Arkansans each year, and consistently plays to high critical praise.