- Carmen Helena Téllez
(b Caracas, Aug 27, 1959). Venezuelan composer. She studied in Caracas with Alfredo del Mónaco, then at the University of York (doctorate, 1988), where her teachers included Hoyland (composition) and Orton (electro-acoustic music). She was appointed a lecturer in music at the Simón Bolívar University in Caracas.
Izarra is one of the emerging Latin American composers of the post-1950 generation, and her work has earned international recognition in festivals worldwide. Her early works show the influence of post-war European experimentalism, but since 1982 she has used the rhythmical and instrumental resources of traditional Venezuelan music with varying degrees of abstraction and manipulation. Her harmonic language is dissonant, with tonal resolutions on unisons, while her melodic material often imitates the calls of Venezuelan birds, notably in works for the flute, for which she employs a variety of extended techniques (e.g. Pitangus sulphuratus). After 1990 Izarra has experimented with minimalism, medieval techniques and Baroque forms, such as isorhythm, canon and the Spanish folía. She pays special attention to the guitar, composing prolifically for her husband, Rubén Riera. Izarra's approach stems from a playful exploration of contemporary compositional tools, but her style always manifests assured technique and refined expression....