“The Quarter Note,” Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter 2010
“Much like the musicians on classical music stages, there is little diversity among the composers whose work is performed on those stages. Intent on building diversity in this important aspect of classical music, Sphinx joined forces with twelve orchestras to commission a new work from a Black or Latino composer each year. Thus was born the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium.
"From a pool of nominees, the consortium awarded the commission to Roberto Sierra. His new Sinfonia No. 4 is the consortium's first completed piece. The Nashville Symphony Orchestra premiered the piece in October with Giancarlo Guerrero conducting. Performances by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, both consortium member orchestras, followed. After just a handful of performances, Sierra's piece is fulfilling the mission of the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium. Performances are already scheduled with orchestras around the country, including two that are not members of the consortium.”
The article indicates that the next three performances of Roberto Sierra's Sinfonia No. 4 will be:
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra January 24, 2010
Richmond Symphony Orchestra February 6-7, 2010
Detroit Symphony Orchestra February 26-28, 2010
"Sinfonia No. 4 was commissioned in 2008 by the Inaugural Sphinx Commissioning Consortium’s founding members: Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta (our nation’s most diverse orchestra), Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Nashville Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New World Symphony (America’s Orchestral Academy), Philadelphia Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, The Sphinx Organization, Virginia Symphony."
Program Notes by Thomas May:
“Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra has developed a unique style characterized by infusing classical forms and genres with Latin American idioms. The composer refers to the process of creating these vibrantly colorful hybrids as 'tropicalization.' The journeys that Sierra undertakes are not limited to the geographical. His compositions also travel freely across time. His Concierto barroco for guitar, for example, was inspired by the historical novel of the same name by Alejo Carpentier. The music treks back to the 18th century to conjure the novelist’s imagined meeting of Handel and Vivaldi with a slave from the New World.”
Puerto Rican Composer
Sinfonia No. 4
Sphinx Commissioning Consortium