Sierra: Life Through Music

As a composer, I believe that I express life through music. My music is just the conduit to convey my fears, my sense of hope, as well as an optimistic outlook and belief in a positive force that guide us through life.”

As June 30 approaches, Roberto Sierra muses about his creative gift and the upcoming premiere of  his new work Dos Piezas para Orquesta (Two Pieces for Orchestra) — a featured highlight of the 2017 Bravo! Vail Music Festival. Commissioned by the festival for its 30th anniversary and as part of its “New Works Project,” the ten-minute, three-movement “orchestral overture” will be performed by the Dallas Symphony led by Jaan van Zweden.

“…Composers are the ‘lifeblood of music,” shares Anne-Marie McDermott, pianist and Bravo! Vail Artistic Director, “[and] I love Roberto’s music…Giving birth to a new piece of music, is not only a responsibility, it is also a privilege — the most noble thing we can do…I have been playing [Roberto’s works] for years with my wonderful colleagues in the piano quartet Opus One…[We] constantly premiere new works, [and] we fell in love with Roberto’s energy and rhythm — his very alive, very singular voice, and sound.”

Sierra shares some insight into Dos Piezas. “Dos Piezas is a diptych that features two contrasting pieces that are generated by the same musical material and creative impulse. The contrast is established by the lyrical and introspect nature of the first section, and the jubilant and energetic character of the second. Outbursts of sound which emerge from the highly expressive fabric of the first piece (a musical lament) anticipate brass fanfare infused with Latin rhythms of the next section. Rhythms evocative of Caribbean music interact with highly intense and emotional musical material. The character of the second piece is anticipated and, here, memories and evocations of some of the ideas of the first piece re-emerge. The orchestra is treated like a virtuoso, a ‘player’ capable of a wide gamut of expression and technical display.”

More Sierra news: on June 28 and 30, soprano Jessica Rivera joins baritone Takaoki Onishi to perform Sierra’s popular Missa Latina with the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya.