Mid-New York Musician Wins First Latin Grammy Award

Syracuse, NY – A musician from central New York City won his first Latin Grammy Award last night.

Roberto Sierra, a classical music composer who lives in Camille, on Thursday won the award for best contemporary classical composition at the Latin Grammys 2021. His composition, “Sonata Para Guitarra” (“Sonata” for guitar), performed by Manuel Barrueco on the album “Music From Cuba and Spain, Sierra”, beat four other nominees during the ceremony at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. .

Sierra, who is also a professor of composition at Cornell University, didn’t attend the awards show – and didn’t even find out he won until he saw his name in a list of the winners published by the New York Times.

“I knew I was nominated, but somehow I missed viewing time,” he told syracuse.com | The Post-Standard in a telephone interview on Friday. “I remember saying ‘Oh my God, I won! Oh my God!'”

Sierra had previously been nominated for two Grammy Awards and two Latin Grammys, but Thursday was her first victory in the latter. He has performed for over three decades and his music has been commissioned and performed by major American and European orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. , the Saint-Laurent String Quartet and the Spanish orchestras of Madrid, Galicia, Castille and León and Barcelona.

His previous honors include his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010 and to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2021; receiving the Tomás Luis de Victoria Prize, the highest distinction awarded in Spain to a composer of Spanish or Latin American origin, in 2017; and won an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003.

The Puerto Rico native said he bought his first home in the Syracuse area in 2007, but made Camille his permanent home five years ago. He and his wife, Virginia, have fallen in love with the area and enjoy being able to spend time with their daughter and grandchildren, who also live at CNY.

Sierra said he plans to celebrate the Latin Grammys victory with his family soon.

“(It’s wonderful! It’s the kind of recognition for your work that I think is every artist’s dream,” he said. “It’s kind of a validation by the industry. and it’s a wonderful feeling. “

Billboard reports that Colombian singer-songwriter Camilo, best known for his romantic acoustic pop songs and for his use of social media, led all of the 22nd Latin Grammy Awards winners with four trophies on Thursday, including Best Vocal Album pop for “Mis Manos”. Mexican singer-songwriter-producer Edgar Barrera, who worked with Camilo, and Spanish musician C. Tangana each won three Latin Grammys.

Among the evening’s other highlights, Ruben Blades was honored as Latin Recording Academy Personality of the Year; a surprise record-of-the-year victory for “Talvez” by Caetano Veloso and his son Tom Veloso; Best New Artist Juliana Velásquez winner; and a moving song of the year for the Cuban liberty anthem “Patria y Vida”, performed by Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno, Yotuel Romero and Cuban rapper El Funky. Notable participants included Juanes, Gloria Estefan, Christina Aguilera, Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Anitta, Rauw Alejandro, Victoria Sur, Major Lazer, Sofia Carson, Bella Thorne, Becky G, Pedro Capo, Sofia Reyes, Roselyn Sanchez and Mana.

For more information on Sierra, visit robertosierra.com.

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