Blog story written for the ECO by composer Roberto Sierra
It is inevitable that, unless the composer is the soloist, a concerto will be written for a person that has a close relationship to the composer. This was the case with my viola concerto; a work written for Roberto Diaz, with whom I had worked in the past. Most of the concerti in the string literature has been dominated by the violin and the cello, but in the 20th century the viola came to be considered on equal standing to the other two instruments, as a possible choice for the kind of virtuosic display that is characteristic of the concerto genre.
Knowing that I was writing this work for Roberto, made it easy for me to explore the wonderful possibilities offered by an instrument that can be dark, mysterious, and somber, but that also can be bright and virtuosic. My concerto explores all these qualities, with a viola that sings, but that is also capable of evoking the rhythms associated with Afro Caribbean folklore.
A few more examples of Roberto’s composition: