Roberto Sierra

Roberto Sierra - ©

born on 9/10/1953 in Puerto Rico

Links (German)

Roberto Sierra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Roberto Sierra (born 9 October 1953 in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) is a composer of contemporary classical music.

Sierra studied composition in Europe, notably with György Ligeti in Hamburg (1979-1982), Germany. After his two-act opera El mensajero de plata, to a libretto by Myrna Casas, had premiered at the Interamerican Festival in San Juan on 9 October 1986, Sierra came to prominence in 1987 when his first major orchestral composition, Júbilo, was performed at Carnegie Hall by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. (Júbilo had been premiered in Puerto Rico in 1985 by the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra conducted by Zdenk Mácal; it was also performed in 1986 by the same forces conducted by Akira Endo.) For more than three decades the works of American composer 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. Many of the major American and European orchestras and international ensembles have commissioned and performed his works. Among those institutions are the orchestras of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Mexico, Houston, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, San Antonio and Phoenix, as well as the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the Spanish orchestras of Madrid, Galicia, Castilla y León, Barcelona, and others.

Commissioned works 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; Fandangos and Missa Latina commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC; Sinfonía No. 3 "La Salsa", commissioned by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Danzas Concertantes for guitar and orchestra commissioned by the Orquesta de Castilla y León; Double Concerto for violin and viola co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Orchestras; Bongo+ commissioned by the Juilliard School in celebration of the 100th anniversary; Songs from the Diaspora commissioned by Music Accord for Heidi Grant Murphy, Kevin Murphy and the St. Lawrence String Quartet; and Concierto de Cámara co-commissioned by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest and Stanford Lively Arts.

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 2007 the Serge and Olga Koussevitzky International Recording Award (KIRA) was awarded to Albany Records for the recording of his composition Sinfonía No. 3 La Salsa. Roberto Sierra has served as Composer-In-Residence with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and New Mexico Symphony. In 2010 he was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Roberto Sierra's Music may be heard on CD's by Naxos, EMI, UMGs EMARCY, New World Records, Albany Records, Koch, New Albion, Koss Classics, BMG, Fleur de Son and other labels. In 2011 UMGs EMARCY label released Caribbean Rhapsody featuring the Concierto for Saxophones and Orchestra commissioned and premiered by the DSO with James Carter. In 2004 EMI Classics released his two guitar concertos Folias and Concierto Barroco with Manuel Barrueco as soloist (released on Koch in the USA in 2005). In 2009 Missa Latina's Naxos recording was nominated for a Grammy under best contemporary composition category.

On February 2, 2006 Sierra's Missa Latina, premiered at the Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C., conducted by Leonard Slatkin to considerable acclaim. The Washington Times judged it "the most significant symphonic premiere in the District since the late Benjamin Britten's stunning War Requiem was first performed in the still-unfinished Washington National Cathedral in the late 1960s." On March 3, 2007, the Missa Latina was performed at the 51st Casals Festival in Sierra's homeland, Puerto Rico, where it was equally well received.

Sierra's Concierto Barroco takes its inspiration from a scene in Alejo Carpentier's novel of the same in which Handel and Vivaldi jam with a Cuban slave during the Venice Carnival. Sierra was commissioned by guitarist Manuel Barrueco to write a concerto that tried to capture what that might have been like. Eladio Scharron commented on Soundboard: "Sierra achieved masterfully a synthesis of a tradition of five centuries old... This work is truly a masterwork..."

Sierra is a professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches composition.

Selected works


  • A Joyous Overture (ca. 5')
  • Alegría (ca. 6')
  • The Bacchae (ca. 12)
  • Borikén (ca. 12')
  • Carnaval (ca. 18)
  • Concierto para orquesta [Concerto for Orchestra] (ca. 20')
  • El jardín de las delicias (ca. 10')
  • Fandangos (ca. 12')
  • Idilio -SATB choir and orchestra (ca. 7')
  • Júbilo (ca. 8')
  • La Lira (Juan Morel Campos) orchestrated by Roberto Sierra (11)
  • Preámbulo (ca. 10')
  • Ritmo (ca. 6')
  • Saludo (ca. 4')
  • SASIMA (ca. 11')
  • Serenata (ca 15')
  • Sinfonía No. 1 (ca. 17')
  • Sinfonía No. 2 (ca. 15')
  • Sinfonía No. 3 "La Salsa" (ca. 23')
  • Sinfonía No. 4 (ca. 22)
  • Tropicalia (ca. 23')
  • Un recuerdo (ca. 2')


  • Bongo+ solo percussion and chamber orchestra (ca. 20-)
  • Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra piano reduction (ca. 22')
  • Concerto for Viola solo viola with string orchestra and 2 percussionists (ca. 22')
  • Concierto Evocativo solo horn and strings (ca. 19')
  • Con madera metal y cuero solo percussion and orchestral (ca. 28')
  • Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra (ca. 22')
  • Concierto Barroco solo guitar and orchestra (ca. 10')
  • Concierto Barroco piano reduction (ca. 10')
  • Concierto Caribe solo flute and orchestra (ca. 20')
  • Concierto Caribe piano reduction (ca. 20')
  • Cuatro versos solo cello and orchestra (ca. 20')
  • Danzas Concertantes solo guitar and orchestra (ca. 26')
  • Doble Concierto solo violin, solo viola and orchestra (ca. 25')
  • Evocaciones solo violin and orchestra (ca. 22')
  • Folias solo guitar and orchestra (ca. 15')
  • Folias solo guitar and orchestra; piano reduction (ca. 15')
  • Fantasía Corelliana -two guitars and string Orchestra (ca. 11')
  • Glosas solo piano and orchestra (ca. 15')
  • Imágenes -solo guitar, solo violin and orchestra (ca. 23')
  • Of Discoveries two guitars and orchestra (ca. 22')
  • Poema y Danza 2 oboes and strings (11)
  • Variations on a Souvenir solo piano and orchestra (ca. 30')

Vocal Works

  • Bayoán oratorio for soprano, baritone SATB chorus and orchestra (ca. 40')
  • Beyond the Silence of Sorrow soprano and orchestra (ca. 25')
  • Beyond the Silence of Sorrow soprano and piano (ca. 25')
  • Cancionero Sefardí soprano (or tenor), flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (ca. 16')
  • Cinco poemas aztecas soprano (or tenor) and piano (ca. 12')
  • Conjuros soprano (or tenor) and piano (ca. 12')
  • Doña Rosita mezzo Soprano and wind quintet (ca. 6')
  • El mensajero de plata chamber opera (ca. 70')
  • El éxtasis de Santa Teresa soprano and Chamber Orchestra (ca. 15')
  • Invocaciones voice and percussion (ca. 14')
  • Missa Latina soprano, baritone, SATB choir and orchestra (ca 77')
  • Missa Latina soprano, baritone, SATB choir and orchestra piano vocal score (ca 77')
  • Rimas soprano (or tenor) and piano (ca. 9')
  • Songs from the Diaspora soprano, string quartet and piano (ca. 20')

Chamber Orchestra

  • Cuentos chamber orchestra (ca. 12')
  • Doce Bagatelas string Orchestra (ca. 20')
  • El éxtasis de Santa Teresa soprano and Chamber Orchestra (ca. 15')
  • Güell Concert chamber orchestra (ca. 15')

Smaller Ensembles

  • Concierto de Cámara wind quintet & string quartet (ca. 18')
  • Concierto Nocturnal solo harpsichord, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin and cello (ca. 15')
  • El sueño de Tartini flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (ca. 9')
  • Octeto 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, and 2 Horns (ca. 10')
  • Pequeño Concierto guitar, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin and cello (ca. 10')
  • Piezas Características bass clarinet, trumpet, piano, violin and cello (ca. 16')
  • Turner flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (ca. 12')

Wind Ensemble (including works with soloists)

  • Carnaval transcribed by Mark Sacterday (ca. 18")
  • Diferencias (ca. 10')
  • Fandangos transcribed by Mark Scatterday (ca. 12')
  • Fanfarría brass ensemble and percussion (ca. 3')
  • Rapsodia solo trumpet and wind ensemble (ca. 11')
  • Sinfonía No.3 transcribed by Mark Scatterday (ca. 24)

Choral (including works with soloists)

  • Cantos Populares SATB choir (ca. 9')
  • Guakía Baba SATB choir (ca. 5')
  • Lux Æterna SATB Choir (ca. 5')
  • Missa Latina soprano, baritone, SATB choir with keyboard accompaniment (ca. 77')

Chamber Works

  • Con Tres clarinet, bassoon and piano (ca. 15')
  • Cuarteto para cuerdas no. 2 (ca. 14')
  • Doce Bagatelas string quartet (ca. 20')
  • Doña Rosita mezzo Soprano and wind quintet (ca. 6')
  • Essays wind quintet (ca. 10')
  • Fuego de ángel piano quartet
  • Kandinsky violin, viola, cello and piano (ca. 17')
  • Mambo 7/16 String Quartet (ca. 2)
  • Memorias Tropicales string quartet (ca. 13')
  • Recordando una melodía olvidada clarinet, violin and piano (ca. 11')
  • Salsa para vientos wind quintet (ca 7')
  • Tres fantasías clarinet, cello and piano (ca. 11')
  • Trio Tropical violin, cello and piano (ca. 14')
  • Trio No. 2 violin, cello and piano (ca. 12')
  • Trio No. 3 -violin, cello and piano (ca. 13)
  • Trio No. 4 "La noche" violin, cello and piano (ca. 14")
  • Tríptico guitar and string quartet (ca. 13')

Keyboard Works

  • Con Salsa harpsichord (ca. 4')
  • Descarga en sol piano (ca. 4)
  • Fantasía Cromática organ (3)
  • Piezas Imaginarias piano (ca. 18')
  • Polivals piano (ca. 3')
  • Preludios Caprichosos piano (ca. 29)
  • Reflections on a Souvenir piano (ca. 9 )
  • Sch. piano four hands (ca. 13)
  • Suite harpsichord (ca. 7')
  • Toccata piano (ca. 6)
  • Treinta y tres formas de observar un mismo objeto piano 4 hands (ca. 25')
  • Tres inventos piano (ca. 5')
  • Tres Miniaturas harpsichord (ca. 3')
  • Vestigios Rituales two pianos (ca 8')
  • 2X3 two Pianos (ca. 12')

Solo and Duo Works

  • Bongo-0 solo bongos (ca. 4')
  • Changos flute and harpsichord (ca. 7')
  • Cinco Bocetos clarinet (ca. 9')
  • Crónicas del descubrimiento* flute and guitar (ca. 19')
  • Eros flute and piano (ca. 3')
  • Flower Pieces flute and harp (ca. 17')
  • Glosa a la sombra mezzo-soprano, clarinet, viola and piano (ca. 10)
  • Fanfarria, aria y movimiento perpetuo violin and piano (ca. 7')
  • Los destellos de la resonancia percussion (cymbals) and piano (ca. 5')
  • Mano a mano two percussionists (ca. 6')
  • Mariposas flute (ca. 4')
  • Piezas Breves guitar (ca. 15')
  • Piezas fáciles 2 violins (8)
  • Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion flute (or recorder) and guitar (ca. 8')
  • Renadio flute and guitar (ca. 6')
  • Ritmorroto clarinet (ca. 6')
  • Salsa on the C String cello and piano (ca. 2')
  • Sonata Nr. 1 for Cello and Piano (ca. 10')
  • Sonata Nr. 2 "Elegiaca" for Cello and Piano (ca. 12')
  • Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (ca. 12)
  • Sonata for Flute and Piano (ca. 12')
  • Sonata para Guitarra (ca. 14')
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano (ca. 14')
  • Suite de canciones y danzas cello and piano (ca. 12)
  • Tema y variaciones clarinet and piano (ca. 7')
  • Toccata y lamento guitar (ca. 5')
  • Tres homenajes húngaros two guitars (ca. 12')
  • Tres pensamientos bass clarinet and percussion (ca. 9')


  • Laurie Shulman. "Roberto Sierra", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed January 13 2014), (subscription access).

External links

This page was last modified 13.01.2014 16:18:41

This article uses material from the article Roberto Sierra from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.