Roberto Sierra


Roberto Sierra

For more than a decade the works of Roberto Sierra have been part of the repertoire of many of the leading orchestras, ensembles and festivals in the USA and Europe. At the inaugural concert of the 2002 world renowned Proms in London, his Fandangos was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert that was broadcast by both the BBC Radio and Television throughout the UK and Europe. Sierra's numerous commissions include works for many of the major American orchestras as well as ensembles in Europe. International ensembles that have performed his works include the orchestras of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Houston, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, San Antonio and Phoenix, as well as by the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet, Continuum, England's BBC Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the Spanish orchestras of Galicia and Barcelona, and at Wolf Trap, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Festival Casals, France's Festival de Lille, among others.

Recent commissions include: Concerto for Orchestra for the centennial celebrations of the Philadelphia Orchestra commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation and the Philadelphia Orchestra; Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for James Carter; Con madera, metal y cuero for Evelyn Glennie commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Casals Festival (the premiere was part of the BBC 20th Century Retrospective "Sounding the Century"); Fandangos for the National Symphony Orchestra In Washington DC; Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Sinfonía No. 1, commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Double Concerto for violin and viola co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Orchestras; Sinfonía No. 2 commissined by the Abraham Frost commissioning Fund from the University of Miami; and Sinfonía No. 3 commissioned by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

In 2003 he was awarded the Academy Award in Music by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The award states: "Roberto Sierra writes brilliant music, mixing fresh and personal melodic lines with sparkling harmonies and striking rhythms. . ." His Sinfonía No. 1, a work commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, won the 2004 Kenneth Davenport Competition for Orchestral Works. In 1989 Roberto Sierra became the Composer-in-Residence of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In addition to advising the MSO on American repertoire, Mr. Sierra contributed to the musical life of Milwaukee with a number of new works, including pieces for local chamber and choral ensembles, and for individual musicians. The Milwaukee-based Koss Classics released a CD of his orchestral music featuring the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Sierra has also been the Music Alive Composer-In-Residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra and New Mexico Symphony.

Roberto Sierra's Music may be heard on recently released CD's by New World Records, Albany Records, Gasparo, Newport Classic, New Albion, Koch, ADDA, VRAS Productions, Musical Heritage Society, Koss Classics, CRI, BMG, Fleur de Son and Dorian Records. In the spring of 2004 EMI Classics released his two guitar concertos Folias and Concierto Barroco with Manuel Barrueco as soloist.

Roberto Sierra was born in Puerto Rico where he pursued early studies at the Conservatory of Music and the University of Puerto Rico. After graduation, Sierra went to Europe to further his musical knowledge, studying first at the Royal College of Music and the University of London, and later at the Institute for Sonology in Utrecht. Between 1979 and 1982 he did advanced work in composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg under the renowned György Ligeti. In 1982 Sierra returned to Puerto Rico to occupy administrative posts in arts administration and higher education, first as Director of the Cultural Activities Department at the University of Puerto Rico, and later as Chancellor of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. Throughout this period, he was vigorously engaged as a composer on the international scene. Roberto Sierra is currently Professor of Composition at Cornell University.

Discussion Panels with Roberto Sierra:

Composition Matters
06/19/06 - 06/23/06