Born in Ourense (Galicia), Cibrán Sierra studied violin in his homeland (Conservatorio Superior de Música in Vigo, Galicia – B.Mus.) to then continue his studies at the Amsterdam Conservatorium (Master Music), the Oberlin College, USA (Artist Diploma) and the Göteborg University of Sweden (Soloist Diploma) with teachers Deborah Hamburger, Milan Vitek, Per Enoksson and Keiko Wataya. His passion for chamber music led him to form in 2003 his Cuarteto Quiroga. Specialized string quartet studies in Madrid’s Reina Sofia School, Musikhochschule Basel and the European Chamber Music Academy with Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet) and Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg Quartet), have profoundly influenced his musical personality.
His firm conviction of chamber music as a metaphor of an enlightened society which embodies essential democratic, ethical values such as courtesy, respect, mutual listening and diversity —as well as fundamental skills which are essential for the development of any musician— motivated him to pursue a committed teaching career, which started first at the University of Göteborg and then, for over a decade, at the chamber music chair of Zaragoza’s Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón, which has held until his recent appointment in 2020 as chamber music Professor at the Universtät Mozarteum Salzburg. He is also regularly invited to teach in several universities and higher academic institution of Sweden, Spain, The Netherlands, USA, France, etc. Since 2021 he is also Jury Chairman and artistic coordinator of Salzburg’s Mozart International Competition for String Quartet.
His keen interest in ensemble playing and his understanding that performance practice has to consider historically informed perspectives has led him to appear regularly as guest concertamaster or principal of several professional orchestras and period performance ensembles, such as Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra-GSO, Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Real Filharmonia Galicia, Forma Antiqva, La Tempestad, Academia de las Luces, Oviedo Opera, etc. He collaborates also with Chamber Orchestra of Europe and has thus worked closely with conductors such as John Eliot Gardiner, Frans Brüggen, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gustavo Dudamel, Lawrence Foster, Andrew Manze, Hannu Lintu, Aarón Zapico, James Ross, Sir Colin Davis or Jordi Savall, among others.
As a violinist he has been awarded several prizes, such as the Guido Vecchi Prize (Göteborg, 2003), 1st Prize at Voldrich Competition (Sweden), Bärenreiter Prize (Jenuesses Musicales Competition, Spain 2000), has appeared as soloist with several sympony orchestras (Göteborg SO, Real Filharmonía Galicia, Spanish Radio SO, Bilbao SO, Castilla&León SO, etc.), and is a keen recitalist, performing in Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Netherlands, USA, etc. But indeed, the biggest pleasure of his performing career is playing with his string quartet and joining wonderful partners such as Martha Argerich, Veronika Hagen, Jörg Widmann, Valentin Erben, Javier Perianes, Antje Weithaas, Jonathan Brown, Eric Hoeprich, David Kadouch and members of the Alban Berg, Hagen, Meta4, Casals, Jerusalem and Doric string quartets.
Cuarteto Quiroga, which carries the legacy of the great Galician violinist Manuel Quiroga, has been awarded top prizes at the most important international competitions for string quartet (Bordeaux, Geneva, Paolo Borciani, Beijing, Paris) as well as with the Spanish National Music Prize 2018, the Spanish Radio Culture Prize 2007 and the Gold Medal of the Palau in Barcelona. Cibrán enjoys touring worldwide with his Cuarteto Quiroga, performing at the most important venues and festivals of the international scene (Wigmore Hall London, Philharmonie & Konzerthaus Berlin, Frick Collection & Lincoln Center New York, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Doelen Rotterdam, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Beijing National Concert Hall, Pierre Boulez Saal, Laieszehalle Hamburg, etc.). They have released seven CD titles for Cobra and Harmonia Mundi which have won the unanimous applause from critics and audiences. The ensemble is considered one of the most dynamic, bold and important quartets of Europe’s newest generation, described as “exquisite, precise, perfectly balanced” by The New York Times and “admirable, with an unblemished technique”, by The Strad.
As part of his firm commitment as a citizen, he participates often in outreach programs and was founder and artistic director of the Chamber Music Season “Sen Batuta” held in his Galician hometown of Ourense between 2007 and 2013. An active researcher, he has published several articles and essays about chamber music, programming, and music education, in several music magazines and newspapers (The Strad, El Pais, El Cultural, Scherzo, RMC, Ctxt, etc.) and is the author of the book “El Cuarteto de Cuerda: Laboratorio para una sociedad ilustrada” (The String Quartet, Laboratory for an Enlightened Society) edited in 2014 by Alianza Editorial, one of the leading publishing houses in the Spanish speaking world.
He plays the extraordinary Nicola Amati “Arnold Rosé” violin (Cremona, 1682), thanks to the generous loan of Paola Modiano’s heirs.