VIDEO FLASHBACK: Tania León’s Ácana

Conductor Leon Botstein led The Orchestra Now in a performance of Tania León‘s 2008 work Ácana in a livestreamed, physically distanced concert from the Fisher Center at Bard this past April. TŌN bassoonist Cheryl Fries writes that “León found inspiration for her chamber orchestra piece in Cuban Laureate Poet Nicolás Guillén’s poem dedicated to the Cuban tree. Sprawling to a height of 90 feet and 3 feet wide, the ácana tree is revered for its strength and wide-spreading roots. Guillén’s poem serves as an ode to the tree that is essential to Cuban life and society. The ácana’s role is described in this poem as being the pitchfork that helps to build homes, a staff to lead people safely home, and finally the table that will hold their coffins.” You can read Cheryl’s full notes on the piece, and Guillén’s poem, by clicking here.