“Arietta for the 150” was composed in 2018 for the 32 Bright Clouds project and received its World Premiere in New York, NY on April 24th, 2019. It is connected to Beethoven’s Sonata no. 32 in c minor, Op. 111
“Arietta for the 150” is dedicated to the 150 young people whose lives were taken during the 2017 Peace demonstrations in Venezuela
Venezuelan composer Adina Izarra was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1959. She studied music under Alfredo del Mónaco in Caracas and received her Ph.D. in composition from York University, England in 1988. She served as professor of composition at Simón Bolívar University and presently works at Universidad de las Artes in Ecuador. Between 1999 and 2001, she was member of the executive committee of the International Society for Contemporary Music.
Izarra writes acoustic and electronic music with emphasis on nature, ecology, birds and early music. She has a dúo of mix-electronic music with Rubén Riera, where they combine early plucked instruments with laptops and video-art.
During 2017, Venezuela witnessed numerous peace demonstrations. People were speaking out about pressing issues such as hunger, insecurity and political prisoners, all of these being direct results of the dictatorship of the Chávez/Maduro regime.
In the course of these demostations about 150 young men and women were assassinated in cold blood by the security forces. They were not guilty of anything, beyond being at the front line of the peace demonstrations. Many of the victims fell into their mothers' arms, or among friends who carried them on bikes to hospitals. These demonstrations reached an incredible number of casualties, especially for a country that was not at war.
Although many of these killings were captured on video, none of the killers have been brought to justice. The security forces were ordered to open fire, without mercy, and knowing full well that the demonstrators carried only Venezuelan flags and anti-gas masks.
This work is for these young men and women who only wanted peace — a peace still not reached in Venezuela.
Op. 111 is Beethoven’s final Sonata. It ends after a "tour de force" and fades out with a sense of calm, of duty accomplished. It would seem that Beethoven achieved the peace he yearned for in his Missa Solemnis. Hopefully all these young people realized peace at the end of their short lives, through the act of struggling for it.
This piece is dedicated to Yael Weiss, in gratitude for her inviting me to transform all this sorrow into music.