Tania León, Artistic Director

Tania León
photo by Gail Hadani

Tania León (b. Havana, Cuba), founder and artistic director of Composers Now, is highly regarded as a composer, conductor, educator, and advisor to arts organizations. In 2021, her orchestral work Stride, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Other recent commissions include works for Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Grossman Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and pianist Ursula Oppens with Cassatt String Quartet.

Appearances as guest conductor include Philharmonic Orchestra of Marseille, Gewandhausorchester, Orquesta Sinfonica de Guanajuato, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuba. 

Upcoming premieres feature commissions for the NewMusic USA Amplifying Voices Program, The Musical Fund Society in Philadelphia to celebrate their 200th anniversary, and The Crossing chamber choir with Claire Chase, flutist. 

A founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, León instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series, co-founded the American Composers Orchestra's Sonidos de las Américas Festivals, and was New Music Advisor to the New York Philharmonic. 

Honors include the New York Governor's Lifetime Achievement, awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the ASCAP Victor Herbert Award, among others. She also received a proclamation for Composers Now by New York City Mayor, and the MadWoman Festival Award in Music (Spain). León has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin and SUNY Purchase College, and served as U.S. Artistic Ambassador of American Culture in Madrid, Spain. A CUNY Professor Emerita, she was awarded a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship.

David Bridges, website management

David T Bridges
photo by Olivia Heaton

Composer and clarinetist David T. Bridges' music is often driven by motivic transformations and unifies extended techniques with classic and narrative structures to provoke a visceral response.  Bridges' compositions have been internationally performed, featured on festivals, and released on Navona Records.  He earned degrees in Music Theory and Composition from the CUNY Graduate Center, Queens College, and Hofstra University.

Bridges' multifaceted career includes teaching music theory at Brooklyn College, designing and teaching a composition series at Buckley Country Day School, and performing new music on clarinet.  He currently manages venue sales and client services for Merkin Hall and is on the Board of Directors for The Astoria Choir where he directs collaborative programs and commissions fostering the interaction of regional composers with the ensemble, audiences, and non-traditional venues.

 

Marcello Di Russo, development and technical assistance

Marcello Di Russo

Marcello Di Russo is an Italian composer, educator, and administrator based in Brooklyn, New York. A music lover since his teenage years, Marcello earned an A.A. in Liberal Arts - Music option from LaGuardia CC, a B.Mus in Composition with a minor in Music Recording Technology from the Brooklyn College-Conservatory of Music, and he is currently pursuing an M.A. in Arts Administration at Baruch College. Since 2018, he has been the president and an active member of the Brooklyn Composers Collective. 

Outside the music world, Marcello has an ongoing career as a basketball coach after spending over 10 years coaching youth and professional basketball teams in Italy.

Amy Roberts Frawley, programs and initiatives consultant

Amy Roberts Frawley

Amy Roberts Frawley has held positions including: Director of Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center where she created a series hosted by Terrance McKnight, co-curated and produced the Ecstatic Music Festival with Judd Greenstein, produced 10th anniversary performances of Laura Kaminsky's groundbreaking chamber opera As One, and managed day-to-day operations for the Hall; Executive Vice President of Concert Artists Guild, where she produced concerts in non-traditional venues including LPR and Barbes, main stage series at Zankel and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and galas at venues including Anthropologie at Rockefeller Center, the Yale and University Clubs, and Christie's, created marketing and development campaigns, oversaw CAG Records and the annual competition, and mentored more than a generation of performers including Claire Chase, the Brasil Guitar Duo, Imani Winds, Soyeon Kate Lee, Michael Brown, Kono Michi, and the Parker Quartet; Performing Arts Curator for Wave Hill where she curated and produced indoor concerts, a summer outdoor series, and most recently returned to the Garden in summer 2021 to production manage performances for the Trisha Brown Dance Company with dancers and audience traversing the grounds for site-related works.

Her current clients are Da Capo Chamber Players, Composers Now, and Mr. McKnight.

Over the decades she has negotiated commissions for artists and ensembles including: Sybarite Five (Joao Luiz); Speculum Musicae (Elliott Carter, Mario Davidovsky); and Tanya Bannister (David Del Tredici, Suzanne Farrin). She is the chair of Claire Chase's Pnea Foundation and served on the board of directors of the Look + Listen Festival.

Béatriz Hernández, production

Béatriz HernándezHaving had experience internationally and across genres, Béatriz Hernández is an award-winning TV, Film and Music Producer, who has collaborated extensively with Celia Cruz, Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill & the Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. Additionally, her other projects include the following GRAMMY award-winning and nominated recordings: Chico O'Farrill: Heart of a LegendPaquito D'Rivera Presents: Las Hermanas MárquezPaquito D'Rivera Tropicana Nights, Celia Cruz La Negra Tiene TumbaoChico O'Farrill: Heart of a Legend. As a producer, Ms. Hernández oversaw, researched and developed the concert and documentary Tribute to Paquito D'Rivera: 50 YearsEl GranFellové: A Documentary, Jazz at Lincoln Center: Afro-Cuban Fiesta. As a consultant, she produced concerts for delegates for the Spanish Ministry of Cultural Affairs as part of the cultural celebrations of the General Assembly of the United Nation.

She has produced concerts at the United Nations General Conference with the flamenco artist Enrique Morente, Vicente Amigo and Cuarteto Simon Bolivar. Recently she has produced and managed American Songbook: Raúl Esparza at Lincoln Center, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and the Opéra de Lausanne.

She has had extensive and diverse experience as a human rights activist, in Geneva, Switzerland for the ICRC (International Committee for the Red Cross) and other NGOs in the United Nations.

Ms. Hernandez has a Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College (CUNY) with a Thomas Hunter Special Honors Degree in Political Science, Latin American Affairs, Anthropology and Humanities. 

Andrés Vera León, technical direction

Andres León

Questioning the boundaries between music and sound through the use of modular synthesis and digital processing, Andrés León creates installations and performative pieces for contemplation and self-awareness. Using repetition and chance, León explores time as a subjective concept and the cyclical movements of nature as an inspiration for his work. These interests derive from his spiritual experiences with ancestral Amerindian ceremonial practices as well as his reflections on the changing aspects of identity and belonging.

Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, León holds a BM in Electronic Production and Design from Berklee College of Music and is currently pursuing an MFA in Sonic Arts at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. In addition to his solo work, León collaborates as a producer, composer, sound designer, and engineer with a variety of artists, such as Hank Shoklee (Public Enemy & The Bomb Squad), Jesica Mitriani, Juan Miguel Marin, Nona Hendryx (Labelle) to name a few. 

Andrew Porter, stage management

Andrew Porter

Andrew Porter is an African-American composer, pianist and saxophonist born and based in Brooklyn, NY. He attended City College before transferring to Brooklyn College in 2017. Studying Music Composition under his beloved mentor Polina Nazaykinskaya he would graduate with a B.Mus in Music Composition in 2020. During his college career, he developed an interest in the world of theatre, composing, musical directing, and assisting for a number of productions throughout the CUNY system, including Blood Weeding (2017), A Cat, A Man, A Laundromat (2018), The Moors (2020), & most recently the devised play @muse_me (2021).

He is currently Sound Designer for a production of The Glass Menagerie at The Glove Theatre in Gloversville, NY.

Deborah Steinglass, development strategies consultant

Deborah Steinglass

Deborah Steinglass is a lifelong musician and an arts administrator and leader for more than 30 years. She currently provides coaching for artists and arts leaders, as well as strategic planning and advisory services to small and mid-sized arts organizations, many of which are artist-led.

Prior to launching her new set of offerings to the field in 2020, Deborah was at New Music USA for seven years, where she served as Development Director and Interim CEO. She also served as the Executive Director of The Jazz Gallery from 2009 to 2013. Earlier in her career, she worked as Program Director and Director of Development at the American Music Center, Director of Development for Concert Artists Guild, and Director of Development for Creative Arts Team of the City University of New York. Deborah wrote the start-up grant proposal for the national radio program From the Top and subsequently served as their Director of Development from 2000 to 2003.

Julia Veinblat, social media

Julia Veinblat

Julia Veinblat is a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York of Russian/Ukrainian origins. Having been immersed in music since a young age, Julia was a part of many music programs throughout her school years. She graduated from Edward R. Murrow's music program where she discovered her interest in songwriting. She then earned her B.A. in Music from CUNY Brooklyn College with a minor in Music Technology where she began producing her own works in the electronic music genre. Julia's songwriting delves into internal and external observations of society. During college, she joined the Brooklyn Composers' Collective where she managed their social media accounts showcasing the compositional efforts of its members. Julia advocates the use of social media for all in music and beyond to increase their networking and exposure for opportunities. When not working on her own sound, she explores educational opportunities in music production and musical composition.

 

Composers Now gratefully acknowledges the assistance of:

Breeanah Breeden, videography; Isabelle Deconinck, public relations for Ms. León; Alexey Gorokholinskiy, videography; Nan Melville, photography and videography; Martha Mooketechnology; Ivonne Paredes-Burton, social media; Gerard Schmidt, videography; Austin Shadduck, development and technical assistance; Chris Snyder, Chxo Internets, website programming and hosting; Tatyana Tenenbaum, videography; Stuart Wolferman, Unfinished Side Productions, publicity