At the young age of 8, Brian knew that the violin was his destiny. Having grown up in Baltimore, it was a short ride to Peabody Conservatory, where experts confirmed the obvious–this small boy, with an exquisite sense of hearing and keen, singing-by-sight ability, was indeed well suited to take on the violin, undisputedly, the most challenging instrument to learn. Blessed with parents who knew well the value of culture and arts, and able to afford season tickets to the Baltimore Symphony, Brian insisted on accompanying them to witness the world’s greatest giants of the violin–icons worshipped by even today’s most astounding contemporary masters. Over the course of Brian’s youth, he watched and heard virtually every one of these gods of the concert stage–Yehudi Menuhin, Issac Stern, Nathan Milstein, Jascha Heifetz, Zino Francescatti, Mischa Elman… They would come to grace his world with their stellar mesmerizing performances, their seemingly effortless, dazzling musical prowess and expression forever etched in his mind.
At 13, he secured a position as the youngest ﬁrst violinist of the acclaimed, Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra. Rehearsing weekly at the Peabody Conservatory concert hall, participating in a dozen concerts over the next four years, while performing virtually all the greatest major symphonic works, Brian ascended to the coveted position of Concert Master for his ﬁnal performance. With just a few years of private instruction in his youth and fueled by his studies, keen artistic observations, along with thousands of hours of dedicated practice, Brian is proud to be mostly self-taught. The inspiration born would serve him quite well, as he and his violin became inseparable, always ready for the adventures to come–performing in Paris, Jamaica, Brazil, the Caribbean, and stops in between.
Upon graduation from college in 1972, Brian was hired by Epic Records artists, Robey, Falk & Bod as their violinist. Days later, he was in New York at CBS studios recording his ﬁrst tracks for a new album, and within several weeks, on tour performing in Boston and NYC. Brian would take those experiences with him in the years ahead, co-founding folk/rock group, Rosewood Sky, and tasting life as a full time musician. It was during Brian’s travels in 1979 to St. John, USVI, while playing an engagement when he met singer/songwriter/guitarist Andy Gordon, and thus began his most gratifying musical collaboration. Over a friendship that spanned nearly 30 years, (ending due to the sudden passing of Andy), Brian would discover just how well his years immersed in classical study and his tenure with the Maryland Youth Symphony would serve him.
Over the ensuing years, Brian would compose and single handedly record over 35 fully orchestrated Andy Gordon original compositions included on multiple recordings, (DANCE OF LIFE, Silber/Gordon, 1983; JOURNEY INWARD, Silber/Gordon, 1991; NOW’S THE TIME, Silber/Gordon, 2002)–each, a precious gem. These heartfelt songs capture a life fully lived, enraptured by love and loss… timeless story telling at its very best.
In 1999, Brian released his ﬁrst solo project, AHEAD OF THE WIND, with guest performances by acclaimed bassist, Gary Grainger and drumming icon, Dennis Chambers. 2001 welcomed INSPIRED, a collection of jazz, ﬁne Brazilian compositions and a Silber original. In the fall of 2013 following travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil, Brian proudly released BRAZILLIANT, featuring his violin and viola along with the stellar writing and performances by four of Brazil’s master multi-instrumentalists / composers, including Marquihno Mendonca, Alessandro Penezzi, Renato Anesi and Celso Machado.
Brian has developed into what Grammy nominated and fellow violinist extraordinaire, Jim VanCleve describes as a “supremely accomplished violinist and musician,” adding “the material offered for you here is at once challenging and beautiful, romantic and rambunctious, emotionally charged while technically dazzling. Brian’s ability to navigate the complex artistic waters and deliver this material in a technically precise way, yet still communicate the emotion and heart of each song, speaks to Brian’s intense devotion to his craft.” He has come to claim a distinctively recognizable sound — tone, intonation and expression that is clearly Brian’s very own artistic trademark. After hearing performances on BRAZILLIANT, legendary Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and guitar wizard, Alessandro Penezzi wrote: “I was very impressed with his musicianship, his sound, very unique – with a touch of gypsy ﬂavor – his virtuosity, his good taste….I wrote to him – Hey, Brian, you’re the reincarnation of Stephanne Grappelli. I still have that opinion.” Proﬁcient in many diverse musical styles, including jazz, folk, traditional, contemporary, blues, bluegrass, Irish, country, reggae, South / Latin American and more, Brian has performed with an array of world class artists. Some of them include a 35 year plus collaboration on multiple recordings (including co-writing credits), and in countless shows and concerts with National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Harvey Reid. He has performed along side Grammy nominated violinist extraordinaire, Jim VanCleve, Brazilian master multi-instrumenatlist, Celso Machado, 6 Time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, Martin Hayes, National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Richard Smith, and International Fingerstyle Guitar Champions Tim Thompson and Mark Sganga, plus many other remarkable artists.
Since 2008, as Founder and Director of Island Music Journeys (www.IslandMusicJourneys.com) — the non-proﬁt organization on St. Croix, USVI, Brian has brought world class musicians to this paradise for island-wide concert performances and has facilitated intimate group and ‘one-on-one’ (tuition-free) artist in residence programs for aspiring young musicians on St. Croix.
In 2010, Brian asked St. Croix’s exceptional and beloved pianist/singer, Tony Richards to join him in performance. They immediately discovered their uncanny ability to “read each others musical minds,” delighting audiences with their uniquely creative ‘chemistry’ and diverse repertoire cementing an enduring and most natural artistic collaboration. Several years later, good fortune brought Brian and “St. Croix’s best kept secret”, vocalist extraordinaire, Mascha Williams together in concert. Today, Tony and Mascha round out ‘The Brian Silber Trio,’ performing weekly at a host of the island’s finest venues.
Although Brian currently splits his time between the Hudson Valley region of NY and the U. S. Caribbean, it is St. Croix where one can be certain to hear him perform as a soloist along with his acclaimed duo and trio (videos below).