Silverman, having recently performed with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, played two free performances on campus Nov. 6; and visited with UF Orchestra students the previous evening, where he played, offered some insight on technique, and answered questions.
Considered a musical pioneer, Silverman’s skills and innovation are highly valued. He has been redefining the role of the violin in contemporary music by contributing to the development of the 6-string electric violin, is an in-demand clinician, a faculty member at Belmont University in Nashville, and a favorite of critics.
To give depth to his solo performances, the virtuoso uses a pedaled looping device that allows him to record short pieces on stage and play those back while he continues to perform live.
For his informal lunch concert in the Alumni Memorial Union, Silverman dressed for the occasion and arrived ready to have fun.
“He’s one of my favorite violinists,” Silverman quipped, referring to Carlos Santana before playing a Santana tune.
Exemplifying his breadth of musical talent and his forward-thinking approach to composition, he also performed an original work that he said was inspired by artist Claude Monet’s ballet dancers. For it, he used the recording device to include five different “players” for a lively montage.
Holding his six-string violin lower than players of traditional four-string violins, Silverman wowed audiences with sounds that resembled everything from rock-n-roll guitar to classical pizzicato playfulness. He refers to his methods as “21st century violin playing.”
Anthony Tomasini from the New York Times has described his style as having “fleet, agility and tangy expressivity with wailing hints of Jimi Hendrix.” “Blazing virtuosity,” wrote the Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein. BBC Radio called The Julliard School alumnus “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin.”
Silverman is currently touring internationally as a soloist with orchestras, with his solo “Concerto for One” performances, “Concerto for Two” with five-time Grammy winner Roy Wooten, with his rock ensemble, “Electica” and with pianist Philip Aaberg and cellist Mike Block as part of the Three Part Invention.
For more on Silverman, visit his website at www.tracysilverman.com.
Silverman’s UF performances were were made possible by The University of Findlay’s Campus Program Board, a student-led group that strives to bring high-quality, diverse entertainment to campus. Call 419-434-4606 for more information.