Silverman has performed with every major Canadian orchestra and also with the BBC, Chicago, and Sydney (Australia) symphony orchestras, the Boston Pops, and the Leningrad Philharmonic, among others, and has toured throughout Europe, North America, Australia, the Far East and the Soviet Union. He has appeared with the Borealis, Curtis, Fine Arts, Lafayette, Orford, and Purcell string quartets and performs frequently at summer festivals, including Music at Sharon, Courtenay, the Elora Festival, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, and the Chautauqua, Peninsula, and Ravinia Festivals in the US.
After Silverman's 1984 London recital, the critic Bryce Morrison described him as 'a player of formidable strength and mastery... his tonal resources are wonderfully rich and full... Silverman's magisterial command of both technique and idiom could hardly have been more convincing... here is a powerful, highly skilled orator of the keyboard, attributes not to be taken lightly in an age of so much impersonal expertise' (Music and Musicians, Jan 1985).
Silverman's repertoire is wide-ranging and includes 40 concertos; he has favoured the keyboard works of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. He has performed complete cycles of the piano sonatas of Beethoven (beginning in 1996), and of Mozart (2006). He also has made a strong commitment to Canadian composers. He premiered Jacques Hétu's Concerto in 1970 with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and both performed and recorded it with the BBC Symphony Orchestra during Musicanada in 1977. With the Toronto Symphony he gave the first concert performances of Somers's Second Piano Concerto (5, 6 Dec 1978). He premiered Michael Conway Baker 's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1976) with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Alexina Louie's Piano Concerto (1985) with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Hétu's Sonata (1986) and Keith Hamel's Thrust.
Silverman's Liszt recording was awarded the 1977 Grand Prix du disque by the Budapest Liszt Society. In 1998 he became the inaugural recipient of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford award. His recording of Baker's piano concerto won a Juno award in 1992.
Silverman was pianist-in-residence 1967-9 at Nazareth College, Rochester, and taught at the University of California 1969-70 and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 1970-3. He taught at the University of British Columbia 1973-2003 and was director of its School of Music 1991-5. His Vancouver pupils have included two first prize-winners of the CBC Talent Competition - Sharon Krause and David Swan (Swan was also the first winner of the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté prize). Silverman became artist-in-residence at Toronto's Koffler Centre for the Arts in 2002.
"It's time to face the music," Globe and Mail, 27 Mar 1993
Author Clifford Ford
Baker Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra. CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Avison conductor. private recording made for the composer
Baker Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra. CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Akiyama conductor. 1988. CBC SMCD-5107
Bartók Dance Suite; 14 Bagatelles. 1974. Orion ORS-74152
Beethoven Sonata, Opus 111 - Hindemith Sonata No. 3. 1969. CBC SM-90
- The Final Sonatas, Opus 109, 110, 111. (1991). Rouvain RVCD-1901
- Three Great Sonatas. 1998. Orpheum Masters KSP 810 DDD
- Ludwig van Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas (10-disc set). 2000. Orpheum Masters KSP 830
- Variations. Stereophile STPH 017-2
Brahms Piano Music. 1985. CBC Musica Viva MV-1028
- Piano Music of Brahms. 1997. 2 vols. CBC Records MVCD 1113
Chopin Sonata in B Flat Minor - Liszt Sonata. Ca 1967. JMC 8
Copland Piano Sonata; Passacaglia; Four Piano Blues; The Cat and The Mouse. 1972. Orion ORS-7280
Coulthard Concerto. CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Bennett conductor. (1982). 6-ACM 10
Encore! :Brahms - Beethoven - Debussy - et al. (1985). Marquis ERA-111
Piano Music of César Franck. 1993. Musica Viva MVCD 1061
Hétu Concerto. BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bernardi conductor. 1977. RCI 477
- Sonata, Opus. 35, Prelude and Dance, Opus. 24 - Brahms Seven Fantasies, Opus. 116. 1987. RCI 640/(Hétu) 4-ACM 31 (CD)
Liszt Variations on Bach's Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen; 2 Transcendental Études; Scherzo and March. 1975. Orion ORS-76226/Orion OC-612 (cassette)
- Sonata: Piano Works by Franz Liszt. 1996. Stereophile STPH 008-2
Live at the Chan. 2003. Orpheum Masters KSP880
Martin 8 Preludes - Prokofiev Sonata No. 6. 1978. Orion ORS-79328
The Parlour Grand. Includes Lavallée's Le Papillon. 2 vols. 1995, 1997. Marquis Classics ERAD 161; ERAD 201
Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 1, Opus 28; Étude-Tableau, Opus 33, No. 3. (1982). ERA 103
- The Piano Sonatas. 1999. Orpheum Masters KSP 802
Schumann Sonata in F Minor; Bunte Blätter. 1971. Orion ORS-7146
The Silverman Concert: Bach - Schubert - Chopin. 1994. Stereophile STP 005-2
Grescoe, Paul. 'When Silverman came home, his career took off,' Saturday Night, Jul-Aug 1976
Schulman, Michael. 'Robert Silverman is happy making music back home,' Performing Arts in Canada, vol 14, Spring 1977
Hancock, Geoff. 'Music, made in Canada, for the world to hear,' UBC Alumni Chronicle, Spring 1978
Wainwright, Frances. 'Robert Silverman: success at home,' Variations, vol 2, Dec 1978-Jan 1979
Atkinson, John. "The Silverman concert," Stereophile, Nov 1994
Wohlberg, Tara. "Scaling piano's Everest," Globe and Mail, 24 Jan 2001
Poole, Elissa. "Silverman's Beethoven: A labour of love," Opus, Spring 2001
Links to Other Sites
This extensive website for Canadian pianist and educator Robert Silverman features a biography, discography, concert schedule, audio clips of his music, and much more.
The Silverman Concert
This article focuses on technical issues involved in recording live classical music performances. Includes an analysis of microphone characteristics and more. From "Stereophile" magazine.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...