Kaija Saariaho: A Primer

Though now hailed as one of the greatest Finnish composers of her generation, Kaija Saariaho readily recalls a time at the Sibelius Academy when male teachers balked at teaching a “pretty girl,” claiming it was a waste of their time. But Saariaho, who as a child would ask her mother to “turn off” the music she perpetually heard in her head so she could sleep at night, stubbornly persevered as the only woman in composition classes. Flash forward some 25 years to the dawn of a new century: The New York Times dubbed her opera’s newest rock star after the triumphant 2000 Salzburg…

Tania León

Tania León (b. 1943) is a Cuban born composer and conductor.  She began studying piano at the age of four and went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree at the Alfredo Peyrellade Conservatory and a Master’s Degree from National Conservatory.  She settled in New York in 1967 and continued her studies at New York University. She was a founding member and the first musical director of Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem, instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series, and served as the Latin America Music Advisor to the American Composers Orchestra. León’s careers as composer and conductor have gone hand…