Beethoven's Diabelli Variations: the Finest Hour of Piano Music in the World Robert Silverman

Sidebar 1: Robert Silverman

In a world that sees wunderkinder of the piano come and go, Robert Silverman has reached a level of musical and technical authority that can be accomplished only after years of deep commitment to the instrument and its vast literature. Many aspects of Silverman's playing are frequently noted: a polished technique, an extraordinary range of tonal palette, an uncanny ability to sing his way into the heart of a phrase, and probing interpretations of the most complex works in the repertoire.

The distinguished Canadian pianist has performed in concert halls throughout North America, Europe, the Far East, and Australia. Under the batons of such renowned conductors as Seiji Ozawa, John Eliot Gardiner, Gerard Schwarz, Neeme Järvi, Sergiu Comissiona, Zdenek Macal, and the late Kiril Kondrashin, he has performed with orchestras on three continents, including the Chicago Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, the BBC (London) Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, and every major orchestra in Canada.

Robert Silverman's discography includes 25 CDs and a dozen LPs, with three recordings previously released on the Stereophile label (footnote 1). His recording of Liszt's piano music received a Grand Prix du Disque from the Liszt Society of Budapest, while his widely acclaimed 10-CD set of all 32 of Beethoven's sonatas was nominated for a Juno Award.

In 1998 Robert Silverman was named the first winner of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Keyboard Artistry, administered by the Ontario Arts Council Foundation, in recognition of "his high level of artistry, his moving interpretations of a wide range of music...and his commitment and contribution to music in Canada."

Following on his recent eight-concert series of all 32 Beethoven sonatas, Robert Silverman has embarked on a four-concert series encompassing the complete sonatas of Mozart to commemorate the composer's 250th birthday, in 2006. Venues for the cycle include San Francisco, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.

Robert Silverman resides in Vancouver, where he was a faculty member at the University of British Columbia for 30 years, served a five-year term as Director of the School of Music in the 1990s, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2004. Recently appointed Artist-in-Residence at the Koffler Centre of the Arts School of Music in Toronto, he now devotes himself full-time to concertizing and recording, and is frequently heard on the CBC network. He plays Steinway pianos, and records for EMI, Stereophile, OrpheumMasters, CBC Records, and Marquis Classics. Robert also enjoys a huge following on the Internet, where a generous selection of his recordings has been heard by well over 30,000 listeners.

Footnote 1: Intermezzo, works by Brahms (1991, STPH003-2); Concert, works by Chopin, Schumann, Bach, and Schubert (1994, STPH005-2); and Sonata, works by Liszt, including the heroically proportioned Sonata in B Minor (1996, STPH008-2). These discs, as well as Robert Silverman's recording of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, are all available on this site's e-commerce page, and John Atkinson's 1996 interview with Robert is available here. Robert Silverman's website has a full discography and other information about the pianist.