Tania Leone wins Music Pulitzer for ‘Stride’

in the 1990s, Musician Tania Leone A new musical consultant was named for the New York Philharmonic. But at that time the orchestra did not play any of his works.

It makes up for the time lost in February 2020, when the philharmonic premiered Ms. Lyons’ “Stride” is both solemn and celebratory work as part of its Project 19 initiative, for which it hired 19 female musicians to honor the centenary of the 19th Amendment, which mandated states to vote for women. barred from deprivation of the right to give.

On Friday, “Stride” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music. It is a final honor in the career of the 78-year-old Cuban-grown musician; Found a Footing Writing Percussive Dance Works in New York; created a series of memorable orchestral pieces with intricate Latin rhythmic grooves; and became a vocal supporter of cultural diversity in music. She has also been a pioneering conductor, and currently directs the wider festival musician now.

Ms Lyons, who learned about the award on Friday when she left her dentist’s office, said she broke down at the news. “My mother and my grandmother were maids when I was 8 years old,” she said in a phone interview. “My family had high hopes for me and the new generation, to give us an education, and when something big happens in my life, that’s the first thing that comes to mind.”

Inspired by the courage of the women in his family, and by suffragist Susan B. Anthony, the 15-minute “Stride” isn’t entirely optimistic. Clear brass fanfare recedes throughout the piece, a sort of periodic announcement, and jazzy wind solos round out the orchestral texture, but a dark, unsteady energy always lurks.

Musician Ellen Reid, who won a Pulitzer in 2019 and was part of this year’s award-winning committee, said she heard the Philharmonic performance “Stride” at Lincoln Center last year.

“It was one of the last demonstrations before the pandemic,” she said over the phone. “Tania has a way of weaving together so many musical traditions with so much joy. She is such a wonderful ambassador for music, and her love is infectious. “

Explosive bells ring at the end of the piece: “Every time I think about it,” said Ms. Lyons, “I want to hear even more – all the bells in the nation.” But a West African beat fell below – a reminder that black women were initially excluded from the rights that were granted by the 19th Amendment.

“Under all these festive bells,” said Ms. Lyons, “there is still a kind of struggle.”

Struggle and Movement.

“It’s great to be recognized,” she said. “But the greatest reward of my life is that I have been able to manifest a dream that began in a very small place far from here, with people who are no longer here. For me, ‘Stride ‘ That is: moving on.”

Joshua Barron contributed reporting.

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