Sierra: A Great Communicator

Sierra Loiza EugSym logo 1 red

“The Eugene Symphony is thrilled to commission Roberto Sierra!” So enthuses Scott Freck, Eugene Symphony’s Executive Director, on the eve of the orchestra’s December 3 world premiere of Loiza. Music Director Danail Rachev conducts Sierra’s new nine-minute work.

Freck continues. “[This commission was] part of Eugene Symphony’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, honoring the orchestra’s long-time commitment to both new music and American composers. Each Music Director in turn has brought his or her own passion to this imperative, from Marin Alsop to Giancarlo Guerrero, and our current leader Danail Rachev is no exception. We invited Roberto to participate in this special project [because of] his reputation as one of our country’s great communicators through music, and as a tribute to the highly successful week he spent here in Eugene as Composer-in-Residence in 2008. We look forward to another powerful experience with one of America’s leading lights.”

Sierra Loiza scoreSierra shares some insight into his newest work. “‘Loíza’ is the name of a coastal town in Puerto Rico. One of the folk dances from the region is the African descended Bomba, one of the main rhythms used in Puerto Rican music and salsa. The complex syncopations and the lively nature of the rhythm, which inspired this work, allowed me to build rhythmic and melodic cells which remain constant throughout the work, thus creating great variety and unity at the same time.”

More Sierra in December: on the first of the month, the Duo Gerassimez (Alexej Gerassimez, percussion and Nicolai Gerassimez, piano) performs Los Destrello de la Resonancia at the Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal in Cologne, Germany.