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about composer ADAM SILVERMAN

Adam Silverman

Professor of music composition and theory at West Chester University, Adam Silverman (b. 1973, Atlanta, GA) is a composer of music for concert performance. Many of his works have entered the standard canon of percussion ensemble literature, including the quartets “Quick Blood,” “The Cruel Waters” and “Spiderweb Lead,” the octet “Sparklefrog,” and sextet “Naked And On Fire.” In the past decade, his work composing for wind symphony has produced several works for percussion soli with wind ensembles, starting with the widely-performed marimba concerto “Carbon Paper and Nitrogen Ink” and including works with drum kit soloist (“Zipzap”), a double concerto for two percussionists (“The Rule of Five”) and “Speaking Truth To Power, 2018” for four percussionists and wind band. His other works for winds include “Alien Robots Unite!,” “Raining Bricks,” “Hard Knocks,” and the saxophone concerto “Alternating Current,” which was premiered with Timothy McAllister as soloist. In addition to these works for percussion and wind ensemble, Silverman’s catalog also includes works for chamber ensemble, orchestra, and opera, and have been performed worldwide by such ensembles as The New York City Opera, The Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, The Opera Company of Brooklyn, Eighth Blackbird, The Corigliano Quartet, and The Prism Quartet. He also composed the score for “Little Fiel,” which blends stop-motion animation with filmed documentary; in 2018, this film had 50 screenings in 15 countries, winning many awards including Best Original Music at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival.

Two full-CD recordings of Silverman's music are available: one of chamber compositions (2009, New Focus Recordings) and one of percussion music (2015, Calabaza Records). Individual compositions of his have also appeared on CDs by the Temple University Wind Symphony, Prism Saxophone Quartet, cellist Amy Sue Barston, Trio Kavak, The Florida State University Percussion Ensemble, and others, all of which are widely available online.

Educated at Yale (Doctor of Musical Arts, 2003), The Vienna Musikhochschule (1994-1995) and in private study with microtonal composer Ben Johnston, Silverman is now an Old-Time fiddle music enthusiast, performing as an amateur on banjo and mandolin.

Updated November, 2018

 

Long bio:

Adam Silverman (born 1973 in Atlanta, GA) is a composer who lives in Swarthmore, PA. He teaches music composition, theory and orchestration as Professor of Music Theory and Composition at West Chester University and works actively creating new compositions that are performed on concerts worldwide.

Silverman's most frequently performed works are for percussion ensemble, wind ensemble, and cello, including many compositions for accompanied and unaccompanied solo cello, and original works and arrangements for cello choirs. He has composed concertos for instrumental soloists with wind ensemble (saxophone, marimba, drum kit, a double concerto for two percussionists, and a quadruple concerto for percussion quartet) and a double concerto for violin, cello and orchestra.

As a youth, Silverman began his musical training as a pianist and taught himself to play guitar. By age 16, he was writing original songs and performing in local bars where, were he not in the band, he would have been refused entry as an underage patron. At college, he began to study classical music and composed his first works, studying at Tulane University, the University of Miami, The Vienna Musikhochshule, and earning graduate degrees at The Yale School of Music. He continued his training as a composer through participation at summer music festivals including Tanglewood, where he received the prestigious ASCAP-Leonard Bernstein Fellowship.

Silverman began his career in the early '00s as a founder of the Minimum Security Composers Collective, a group of four entrepreneurial composers who created new works and produced concerts in collaboration with leading ensembles. Their evening-length production for sextet Eighth Blackbird was featured on tour across America, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and other prominent venues. At this time, Silverman also began composing music for many of America's leading ensembles: ''Sturm'' for The Amelia Piano Trio, ''Kicking and Screaming'' for The Albany Symphony Chamber Orchestra, ''Ricochet'' for Strata and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, ''Corrie Q's Jigs and Reels'' (String Quartet No. 3) for the Corigliano Quartet, and many others.

Inspired by an exhibit on the children of the Holocaust at the Yad V'Shem Museum in Jerusalem, Silverman composed the opera ''Korczak's Orphans'' in collaboration with poet Susan Gubernat. This grand opera for a large cast of soloists, orchestra and children's choir, centers around the tragic heroism of a Jewish author and orphanage director in World War II Poland. It has been performed in staged and concert-workshops by New York City Opera, Real Time Opera, The Atlanta Young Singers, and The Brooklyn Opera Company. Silverman's second opera, ''Griselda e il Marchese di Saluzzo,'' is an Italian-language operatic "short" based on a tale from Boccaccio's ''The Decameron''; scored for just seven musicians, four soloists and a small women's choir, it was composed for International Opera Theater, and was performed in 2010 and 2011 in Philadelphia, in Pieve, Italy, and in Saluzzo, Italy - the town in which Griselda's story was set in Boccaccio's 14th century novella.

Silverman's dramatic music extends beyond opera. In collaboration with In Parenthesis Theater, he composed music for ''Le Colonel des Zouaves'' (2005), a Dadaist theater piece by French dramatist Olivier Cadiot, set for solo actor and men's chorus, and in 2017 he composed the score to an animated film called "Little Fiel" based on the artwork of Mozambican sculptor Fiel dos Santos.

Two full-CD recordings of Silverman's music are available: one of chamber compositions (2009, New Focus Recordings) and one of percussion music (2015, Calabaza Records). Individual compositions of his have also appeared on CDs by the Temple University Wind Symphony, Prism Saxophone Quartet, cellist Amy Sue Barston, The Florida State University Percussion Ensemble, and others, all of which are widely available online.

Silverman's musings on music theory and pedagogy can be found online at http://musictheoryprof.com.

updated January 2018

RECORDINGS
Silverman: Percussion Music    
Heirlooms CD Mean Fiddle Summer CPNI
10 Windows
 






UPCOMING CONCERTS

February 5
Nightmare Machine - World Premiere
Performed by Michael Burritt at The Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY)

February 18
The Rule of Five - concerto for two percussionists and wind ensemble - World Premiere
Performed by Julia Gaines and Megan Arns with the University of Missouri School of Music Wind Ensemble conducted by Brian A. Silvey (Columbia, MO)

February 19
Together
Performed by the BRN Duo (Rachel and Brian Nozny) at the University of Southern MIssissippi (Hattiesburg, MI)

February 19
Speaking Truth To Power, 2018 for four percussionists and wind ensemble - CBDNA Premiere Preview
Performed by The West Chester University Wind Ensemble conducted by Andrew Yozviak at West Chester University (West Chester, PA)

February 20
Speaking Truth To Power, 2018 for four percussionists and wind ensemble - CBDNA Premiere Preview
Performed by The West Chester University Wind Ensemble conducted by Andrew Yozviak at Agua Fina High School (Avondale, AZ)

February 21
Speaking Truth To Power, 2018 for four percussionists and wind ensemble - World Premiere
Performed by The West Chester University Wind Ensemble conducted by Andrew Yozviak at the convention of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) (Tempe, AZ)

February 27
Want It. Need It. Have It.
Over a windcloaked nightsoaked starpoked sea
Downtown Is The Battery
The Things That Go
Together
Performed in Ware Recital Hall at West Chester University (West Chester, PA) by the RoseWind Duo and guest collaborator Audrey Andrist.

February/March (date TBD)
Sparklefrog
Performed by The Indiana University Percussion Ensemble (John Tafoya and Kevin Bobo, directors) (Bloomington, IN)

March 29
The Heart and the Hand
Performed by Ieva Jokubaviciute and Amy Sue Barston at Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA)

April 16
The Rule of Five - concerto for two percussionists and wind ensemble - World Premiere
Performed by Escape Ten with the University of North Florida Wind Symphony conducted by Erin Bodnar (Jacksonville, FL)

May 5
The Rule of Five - concerto for two percussionists and wind ensemble - World Premiere
Performed by Escape Ten with the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble conducted by Jonathan Caldwell (Blacksburg, VA)

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