In Memoriam: Carmen-Helena Téllez, 1955-2021

Carmen-Helena Téllez, a professor of conducting in the department of music at the University of Notre Dame, died on December 10. She was 66 years old and had suffered from cancer.

Professor Téllez conducted in the United States, Europe, Israel, and Latin America. After her tenure as music director of the National Chorus of Spain, she joined the music faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 1992, as director of the Latin American Music Center and the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. She joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2012. Professor Téllez served for several years as head of the Graduate Conducting Studio in the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program and was the first to lead its doctoral program in choral conducting. At Notre Dame, she conducted and designed a series of musical works with new modes of interdisciplinary presentation.

Her most recent work, “A Dance for Seurat,” will be premiered by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra on January 9 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame.

A native of Caracas, Venezuela, where she completed conservatory studies in piano and composition, Professor Téllez earned a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in music from Indiana University. She was the winner of the American Choral Directors Association’s Julius Herford Dissertation Prize.

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