Jaime León (1921-2015)

Colombia | Composer, pianist, conductor

Photo of Jaime León


A prolific composer, pianist, and conductor, Jamie León Ferro established a successful music career in the United States and his native Colombia. He studied piano at the Conservatory at the National University of Colombia, returning to serve as professor of piano in 1948. In addition, he trained in piano and conducting at the Juilliard School under Carl Friedberg, Edgar Schenkman, and Dean Dixon. León had an extensive career as a conductor, leading major ensembles including the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogota, Orquesta Simfónica Nacional de Colombia, and the orchestra for American Ballet Theater. His compositional output consisted of 50 works, thirty-two of which were art songs using texts from Colombian poets. Notable examples include La campesina, Cancioncilla, and Aves y ensueños. His songs remain a fixture at the Barcelona Festival of Song, with a series of concerts, lectures, and classes dedicated to León’s music.In addition, his works have received renewed interest due to research and recordings by Colombian vocalist and musicologist Patricia Caicedo. León received awards from several prominent groups and festivals, including the Popayan Festival of Religious Music, the Order of Philharmonic Merit awarded by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá, and an award from the Ministry of Culture. In 2015, León passed away in his home in Bogotá.  



Radio Nacional de Colombia

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

MinCultura, Colombia


Wikipedia (in Spanish)

León, Jaime, Rigoberto Cordero y León, Eduardo Castillo, Patricia Caicedo, and Alexandra Rulle. Canciones De Navidad. First edition. Barcelona: Mundo Arts, 2019, 12-13. (in Spanish)


Media Collections Online (MCO)

These resources are only available to authorized users at Indiana University-Bloomington. 

Misa breve; Pequeña pequeñita; Songs (2015)

Selections from Canciones del arte de Latinoamérica (Patricia Caicedo, soprano ; Pau Casan, piano) (2001)

Alexander Street Press

These resources are only available to authorized users at Indiana University-Bloomington. 

Luigi Cherubini, Medea, conducted by Jaime León

Naxos Music Library 

These resources are only available to authorized users at Indiana University-Bloomington. 

Missa Breve 

Pequeña pequeñita


This resource is only available to authorized users. 

Jaime León Collection, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia

The Jaime León Collection is part of the Repositorio Institucional at Universidad EAFIT in Medellín, Colombia. 


Patricia Caicedo, "Patricia Caicedo interviewing composer Jaime León." (2009) (in Spanish)

Jaime León, Remembranzas (August 9, 2020) (in Spanish with Spanish subtitles)


This resource is only available to authorized at Indiana University-Bloomington.

Fogel, Henry. “Missa Breve, Pequeña Pequeñita, Songs.” Fanfare: The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors 39, no. 1 (September 2015): 279–80. (Music Index)


Journal Articles

Carman, Judith. “Jaime León: Analysis and Compilation of His Works for Voice and Piano.” Journal of Singing 66, no. 2 (November 2009): 227–28. (RILM)

Dissertations & Theses

Alvarez, Elissa. "Pride, Place, and Identity: Jaime León's Transcontintental Exploration of Identity through Art Song." Boston University, 2013. (ProQuest Dissertations)

Botero, Victoria Sofia. "The Art Songs of Jaime León: A Textual and Musical Analysis." University of Missouri - Kansas City, 2011. (ProQuest Dissertations)

Alzate, Liliana Maria Lopez. “El ciclo de canciones Pequeña, Pequeñita de Jaime León Ferro : Análisis del Texto y la Música desde el Punto de Vista del Word Painting.” Universidad EAFIT, 2015.