“Earthian Music”: Tania León, the Compositions for Piano, and the Arc of Cultures

By James Briscoe.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Tania Leon, born in Cuba and a naturalized U.S. citizen, has assumed the goal of arcing over and merging such musical styles of the African Diaspora as jazz, rumba, and son converged with 20th-century post-modernism in her art music for piano. While she draws emotional tension from the structure and harmonic complexity of Western Expressionists, one cannot say that here is a Schoenberg gesture, there a Debussyan reference, there a jazz lick or elsewhere a rumba passage. Rather, these are synthesized into a personal idiom of forceful rhythm and dense, extended, but para-tonal structure. International awards ranging from the New York Philharmonic as Artistic Adviser, Directorship of the Harlem Dance Theatre, to wildly celebrated performances at the Geneva Opera testify to her accomplishment. This lecture recital thus illustrates how Tania Leon has convinced critics that a post-Cuban and post-modernist music of transnationalism helps cement the global discourse. This lecture with piano recital centers on and gives the European premieres of the compositions “Momentum” and “Variacion,” is interactive, requests a 60-minute span, and requires at least a parlor grand piano. The presentation is suitable for a museum or church.

Keywords: Tania Leon, Women Composer, James R. Briscoe, Multi-Cultural, Piano Music, Globalism, African Diaspora

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp.193-212. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.868MB).

Dr. James Briscoe

Professor of Musicology, School of Music, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

James R. Briscoe researches the history and stylistic contributions of women composers, the pedagogy of learning within the diverse and multi-disciplinary needs of the 21st century, and music of Debussy and other French composers after 1880. Holding the PhD in Historical Musicology from UNC-Chapel Hill, he teaches music history from 1750 to the present at Butler University. Music examples for the Venice Conference are performed by the pianist Anna Y. Briscoe, MMus, also of Butler University.


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