Canadian composer Sergio Barroso first got a classical training in his native country, Cuba. He turned to electro-acoustics when he came to the United States. Established in Toronto, Canada, he gained a respectable notoriety as a classical, computer music, and electro-acoustic composer in the 1980s and 1990s.
Barroso was born in Havana, Cuba, on March 4, 1946. He grew up there, studying piano, organ, conducting, and composition at the Havana National Conservatory from 1950 to 1966. At age 20 he crossed the Atlantic to do his post-graduate studies in composition in the Communist Czechoslovakia, at the Prague Superior Academy of Music. In 1968, instead of going back to Cuba, he went to California where he immersed himself in computer music at Stanford University. From this point on he continued to write orchestral music, but also became active in electro-acoustic and computer music, specializing in sound synthesis. His first album to make an impact was the 1989 New Music for Digital Keyboard, which became a source of inspiration and reference for many composers. In 1998, the label Empreintes DIGITALes released a two-CD retrospective of his electro-acoustic works. His Latin-American roots often permeate the French-like abstraction of his sound constructions, giving them a lyricism rarely found in composers like Pierre Henry and Jonty Harrison.