Composer Roberto Sierra’s new work, “Cuatro Piezas para cello y piano,” will be featured at a concert in Barnes Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m., performed by the Sierra Duo – John Haines-Eitzen, cello, and Matthew Bengtson, piano. They will also perform George Walker’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano” and Beethoven’s “Sonata in A Major, Op. 69.”
The new Sierra piece was a surprise gift to the duo about six months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Roberto has a remarkable sense of what an instrument can do,” say the duo. “The demanding technique really stretches what’s possible on our instruments.”
Sierra, Old Dominion Foundation Professor of Music Emeritus in the College of Arts and Sciences, has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2021 Latin Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition and the Academy Award in Music by the American Academy of Arts and Letters; he has also been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards.
Haines-Eitzen, senior lecturer and artist-in-residence (A&S), and Bengtson, associate professor of music at the University of Michigan, have previously recorded Sierra’s work on Albany Records. Bengtson also recently recorded an album of Sierra’s solo piano music. Both have performed in noted venues around the world.