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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 Zdeněk 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 American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Roberto Sierra's Music may be heard on CD's by Naxos, EMI, UMG’s EMARCY, New World Records, Albany Records, Koch, New Albion, Koss Classics, BMG, Fleur de Son and other labels. In 2011 UMG’s 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.