Sheila Silver


Sheila Silver is an important and vital voice in American music today. She has written in a wide range of mediums, from solo instrumental to large orchestral works, from opera to feature film scores. Again and again, audiences and critics praise her music as powerful and emotionally charged, accessible, and masterfully conceived. ?Only a few composers in any generation enliven the art form with their musical language and herald new directions in music. Sheila Silver is such a visionary.? (Wetterauer Zeitung, Germany) Her honors include a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, the Sackler Prize in Opera; two Opera America Toulmin awards; Bunting Institute Fellowship; Rome Prize; Prix de Paris, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Composer Award and numerous grants and commissions. Ms. Silver was the 2020 Elliot Carter Composer in Residence Resident at the American Academy in Rome. Her music has been commissioned and performed by many organizations and artists internationally. A 2-disc album of her complete vocal music, Beauty Intolerable: Songs of Sheila Silver, is available on Albany Records (TROY 1854-55) and includes a host of singers and pianists including Dawn Upshaw, Stephanie Blythe, and Gilbert Kalish. Chariessa, included on this album, means ?beautiful woman? in ancient Greek and is the earliest of Silver?s works (1978) still included in her catalogue. She has also written several operas: A Thousand Splendid Suns, based on the international best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini and commissioned and to be premiered by the Seattle Opera; The Wooden Sword ? winner of the 2007 Sackler Prize in Opera; The White Rooster, commissioned by the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington D.C.; and The Thief of Love. Silver is Professor Emeritas of Music at Stony Brook University. Her teachers include Arthur Berger, Harold Shapero, Erhard Karkoschka, and Gyorgy Ligeti. She was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and began studying piano at the age of 5. She holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and her doctorate from Brandeis University. Sheila and her husband, film-maker John Feldman, make their home in the mid-Hudson Valley, New York. They have one son, journalist Victor Feldman.


Scroll to Top