Tania Justina León was born in Havana, Cuba. She obtained her musical training in Havana and at New York University. A co-founder of the Dance Theater of Harlem with Arthur Mitchell in 1969, she served as its music director until 1980. She is currently Associate Conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and teaches at Brooklyn College. Her compositions include pieces for orchestra, theater, ballet, instrumental ensemble, and two solo piano works.