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Tracy Silverman

Tracy Silverman

Lauded by BBC Radio as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin”, Tracy Silverman’s groundbreaking work with the 6-string electric violin defies musical boundaries. The world’s foremost concert electric violinist, Silverman was named one of 100 distinguished alumni by The Juilliard School. Formerly first violinist with the innovative Turtle Island String Quartet, Silverman has contributed significantly to the development and repertoire of the 6-string electric violin and the non-classical stylistic approach he calls “21st century violin playing”, inspiring several major composers to write concertos specifically for him, including Pulitzer winner John Adams’ “The Dharma at Big Sur”, premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and recorded with the BBC Symphony (Nonesuch Records); legendary “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley’s electric violin concerto, “The Palmian Chord Ryddle”, premiered and recorded with the Nashville Symphony in Carnegie Hall in 2012 (Naxos Records); Kenji Bunch’s “Embrace” concerto in 2013.

The 2015-16 season included a return to Carnegie Hall to premier Nico Muhly’s “Seeing is Believing” with the American Symphony as well as with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Stockton Symphony, performing his own 2nd electric violin concerto with the Glacier Symphony, and John Adams’ “Dharma at Big Sur” with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, a 4 week run of a new production of “Salome” with the Stuttgart Ballet performing John Adams’ “Dharma at Big Sur” as well as Adams’ Violin Concerto and 2 original works, one commissioned by the Ballet. Silverman has finished his 3rd electric violin concerto, commissioned by a consortium of several orchestras including the Anchorage Symphony.

The most recent of Silverman’s many CD’s, “Between the Kiss and the Chaos” (Delos/Naxos Records) features the celebrated Calder Quartet collaborating on Silverman’s 2nd electric violin concerto. Silverman played an NPR Tiny Desk Concert in 2014 and has appeared on national TV and radio programs including A Prairie Home Companion, NPR’s Performance Today and a profile on CBS News Sunday Morning. The Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein hailed Silverman’s “blazing virtuosity” and The New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini admired his “fleet agility and tangy expressivity”. “Inspiring. Silverman is in a class of his own.” –Mark Swed of the LA Times.

A long-standing advocate for music education and frequent clinician, Mr. Silverman was a protégé of the legendary violin pedagogue Ivan Galamian and he also studied chamber music with Sam Rhodes of the Juilliard Quartet and Lewis Kaplan of the Aeolian Chamber Players.  “String playing must reflect our popular musical culture or risk becoming old-fashioned and irrelevant,” says Silverman who is finishing work on “Strum Bowing”, his instructional method already widely used throughout the world.

From Sao Paulo to Vienna, Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, Silverman tours internationally as a soloist with orchestras, with his one-man performances, and as a collaborator with many other artists and chamber ensembles, including his duo with 5-time Grammy winner Roy “Futureman” Wooten.