His Missa Latina, premiering in 2006 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with Leonard Slatkin conducting the National Symphony Orchestra, garnered tremendous praise, and he's received a range of awards, including the 2004 Kenneth Davenport Competition for Orchestral Works, for his Sinfonia No. 1, commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Albany Records received the Serge and Olga Koussevitzky International Recording Award (KIRA), for its recording of his Sinfonia No. 3, "La Salsa." I like the way Sierra's music synthesizes many different influences, ranging from the Spanish, Indian and African of his native Puerto Rico, to contemporary Spanish and European, and American art music, to jazz. In the Sinfonia No. 3, "La Salsa," or the Fandangos, one can hear links with popular Puerto Rican and Caribbean music, and the musical currents of predecessors like Joaquín Rodrigo, Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados. He wrote several of his most recent compositions, the Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra and Caribbean Rhapsody, for the saxophonist James Carter. Like nearly all classical composers these days, he also teaches, and is professor of music at Cornell University.
You can find Sierra's music on labels such as Naxos, EMI, New World Records, Albany Records, Koch, New Albion, Koss Classics, BMG, Fleur de Son, and others. I often listen to the few offerings directly available on the Naxos site, which I subscribe to, and have purchased some of his CDs and selected works from iTunes too. Most are available on the iTunes store. If you are a practicing musician and want to play his works, you can get them directly from Subito Music Publishing, G. Schirmer, or Editions Orphee depending upon the piece.
Here are a few videos from YouTube featuring excerpts of Sierra's work. Enjoy!
Piano Trio #3, 4th movement, played by Trio Arbós
Mambo 7/16, played by Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Concierto Barroco (part 2), guitar soloist, Rémi Barrette, with orchestra
Tumbao, from Sinfonia No. 3, "La salsa," performed by the Eastman Wind Ensemble
Fandangos (excerpt), Robert Franz, conductor, Mansfield Symphony
Flower Pieces (excerpts), Valerie Potter, flute, and Anne Eisfeller, harp
Concierto de Cámera (premiere), Imani Winds, Miami String Quartet