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, Castilla y León 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; Fandangos and Missa Latina for the National Symphony Orchestra In Washington DC; Sinfonía No. 1, commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Sinfonía No. 2, commissioned by the University of Miami School of Music Abraham Frost Commission Series; Sinfonía No. 3, commissioned by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra with funding from the Joyce Foundation of Chicago; Fanfarria, aria y movimiento perpetuo for violin and piano commissioned by the Library of Congress to celebrate Copland's centennial; 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; and Borikén commissioned by the Casals Festival to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
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 CD's by New World Records, Albany Records, Gasparo, Koch, Newport Classic, New Albion, ADDA, 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 (released by Koch in the USA). 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 György Ligeti. Roberto Sierra is currently the Old Dominion Foundation Professor of Composition at Cornell University.