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Tracy Silverman

Lauded by the BBC 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 first concert electric violinist, Silverman has been the subject of two major orchestral commissions, both composed specifically for and with Tracy: Pulitzer winner John Adams’ “The Dharma at Big Sur”, premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the gala opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003 and recorded with the BBC Symphony on Nonesuch Records with John Adams conducting; and legendary “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley’s “The Palmian Chord Ryddle” which Silverman premiered with the Nashville Symphony in Carnegie Hall 2012.

Formerly first violinist with the innovative Turtle Island String Quartet, Silverman was named one of 100 distinguished alumni by The Juilliard School. Shortly after graduating in 1980, Silverman built one of the first-ever 6-string violins and set his own course as a musical pioneer, designing and performing on an instrument that did not previously exist. Silverman’s eclectic career has spanned work with the world’s premier symphonies and conductors, including Marin Alsop, Esa-Pekka Salonen, recording with Naami Jarvi and the Detroit Symphony; as well as recording with the rock band Guster, contemporary music’s Paul Dresher Ensemble, jazz legend Billy Taylor and most recently on his new CD, “Between the Kiss and the Chaos” with the acclaimed Calder Quartet.

In the liner notes to “The Dharma at Big Sur”, Pulitzer prize winning composer John Adams writes, ”Tracy has developed his own unique style of violin playing—a marvel of expressiveness.” At the premier, Mark Swed of the LA Times enthused, “Inspiring. Silverman is in a class of his own.” The Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein wrote of Silverman’s “blazing virtuosity. You will be astonished that anybody can play a fiddle like that” and Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, raved, "Fleet agility and tangy expressivity with wailing hints of Jimi Hendrix." A composer himself, Silverman recently premiered his second electric violin concerto, “Between the Kiss and the Chaos”, and tours internationally as a soloist with orchestras, with his one-man performances, and as a collaborator with many other artists and chamber ensembles. Tracy has appeared on numerous national TV and radio programs such as NPR’s Performance Today and St. Paul Sunday among many others and has been profiled on CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood and is a faculty member at Belmont University and at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music in Nashville, where he lives with his wife and 4 children.