SHEILA SILVER (b 1946 )
Sheila Silver is an important and vital voice in American music today. She has written in a wide range of media, from solo instrumental works to large orchestral works, from opera to feature film scores. Her musical language is a unique synthesis of the tonal and atonal worlds, coupled with a rhythmic complexity which is both masterful and compelling. Again and again, audiences and critics praise her music as powerful and emotionally charged, accessible, and masterfully conceived. [Silver speaks a musical language of her own, one rich in sonority, lyrical intensity and poetic feeling Chicago Tribune.]
Born in Seattle Washington in 1946, Sheila Silver began piano studies at the age of five. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley (1968) she was awarded the George Ladd Prix de Paris for two years study in Europe, where she worked with Erhard Karkoschka in Stuttgart and Gyrgy Ligeti in Berlin and Hamburg. She earned her doctorate from Brandeis University in 1976, where she studied with Arthur Berger, Harold Shapero and Seymour Shifrin. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed by numerous orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists throughout the United States and Europe, and honours include a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship (1978), the Rome Prize (1979), and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Composer Award (1986). She has twice been the winner of the ISCM National Composers Competition, and other awards and commissions include those from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Camargo Foundation, MacDowell Colony, New York State Council of the Arts, the Barlow Foundation, Paul Fromm Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Cary Trust. Sheila Silvers full length opera The Thief of Love, featured in New York City Operas 2000 Showcasing American Composers, was given its fully staged world premire by the Stony Brook Opera in March 2001, and she is collaborating with filmmaker John Feldman on a series of MusicVisions, unique classical music videos for one or two instruments, video, and tape track. She is Professor of Music at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and her music is published by MMB Music and Studio 4 Productions and is recorded on various labels.