Tania León has earned a prestigious honor…
The 79-year-old Cuban composer, conductor and educator will be among this year’s Kennedy Center Honors recipients.
Leon is part of a roster of honorees that includes U2, Gladys Knight, Amy Grant and George Clooney.
The Honors recipients are recognized for their contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television—and are confirmed by the executive committee of the Center’s board of trustees.
Deborah F. Rutter, Kennedy Center president, noted: “For nearly a half-century, the Kennedy Center Honors has represented the very best of America’s creative culture. The Honors is often referred to by past recipients as the pinnacle of awards because it recognizes not just one performance, album, or film, but esteems an artist’s cumulative body of work and influence over many decades…”
León received a 2012 Grammy nomination for best contemporary classical composition for Inura for Voices, Strings and Percussion. She is also renowned as a conductor, educator and advisor to arts organizations
León was a founding member and the first musical director of Arthur Mitchell‘s Dance Theater of Harlem, establishing its music department, music school, and orchestra.
She won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Music for Stride.
The 45th Kennedy Center Honors Gala concludes with a dinner in the Grand Foyer.
“Little did I imagine when studying in La Habana that life was going to grace me with such a distinction! My first thoughts went to my ancestors: they believed in my dreams, and what we lacked in material wealth, they made up for in spirit, encouragement, and support,” says Leon of the honor. “My heartfelt thanks go to the many people who have blessed my path by helping my talent to blossom and by giving me the chance to be heard. I am incredibly humbled to join such a prestigious family of artists, and deeply grateful to the Kennedy Center for bestowing me with this incredible honor.”
The 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors will air on Wednesday, December 28 (8:00 – 10:00 pm ET/PT) on CBS. Paramount+ Premium subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service as well as on demand. Essential-tier subscribers will have access to on-demand the day after the special airs.
The special show will be taped on Sunday, December 4 in Washington, D.C. Presented for lifetime artistic achievements, the program will be held on Sunday, December 4, on the Opera House stage at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.