Meet a Musician: Carmen Helena Téllez, Interdisciplinary Artist
Bloomington, Indiana, is a special city for musicians—visitor or resident, foreign or domestic, famous or little-known. It also happens to be a city with a large university and a large school of music, a meeting place for all kinds of performers, educators, and researchers. This post is part of a photo series that looks at the many people in Bloomington who call themselves a musician.
Once in a while, there are people I hear described as a “force of nature.” What comes to mind is someone who is strong-willed, has the ability to accomplish seemingly insurmountable goals, and can coalesce any number of individuals and resources on a given project.
Carmen Helena Téllez is one of those people.
A native of Venezuela, Carmen’s numerous interests and abilities, coupled with her many accomplishments, easily earns her such a title. Her official biography gives us a hint:
“Carmen Helena Téllez balances activities as a creative artist, conductor, scholar, producer and administrator. She is currently the Director of Graduate Choral Studies and the Director of the Latin American Music Center at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University, where she also directs their Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. She is also the Artistic Co-Director of Aguavá New Music Studio, an artists’ group with which she records and tours internationally.”
A champion of New Music and of the gamut of Latin American repertoire (early to contemporary), few people know that her award-winning doctoral dissertation was on a baroque topic, “Musical Form and Dramatic Concept in Handel’s Athalia” (a surprising fact given her well-known commitment to the creation and dissemination of modern art music).
I’ve known Carmen for many years, having variously been my director, producer, supporter, and adviser. She is nothing if not powerfully driven in her ability to realize a vision or concept, inspire the many students and/or professionals in her charge, and, if necessary, move a mountain in order to complete a task.
And for that she has my deepest respect.