Reviews

“Sheila Silver is a creative dynamo. Her music is vital, with a conviction that obliterates fashion and speaks its own language.”
The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

The Thief of Love “Music of great beauty” (read more)Howard Smith, Music and Vision

Midnight Prayer, Rochester Philharmonic performance review: “An important and substantial piece… Silver describes her work as a “prayer for world peace,” but it is no quiet, passive meditation. Rather, it is a remarkable 12 minute tone poem that conveys a sense of urgency through its ingenious use of harmonic tension and orchestral color.”
John Pitcher, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester

(Review of Naxos CD, Piano Concerto and Piano Preludes) “There will always be lots of promising careers of young musicians. Many end up, after brilliant educations, in oblivion. Some, with enormous energy, gain acceptance into the ranks of the establishment; but only a few of them in any generation will enliven the art form with their musical language and herald new directions in music. Sheila Silver is such a visionary.”
Wetterauer Zeitung,Germany

To the Spirit Unconquered proved to be a stunning modern masterpiece, a work of profound musical and emotional depth…. It is one of those rare compositions that grabs you emotionally and will not let go. Silver’s manipulation of her musical material is masterful.”
Journal American, Bellevue/Seattle, Washington

“Silver speaks a musical language of her own, one rich in sonority, lyrical intensity and poetic feeling.”  John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

(The Thief of Love)“Standing ovations confirmed that the full-house audience had been thoroughly won over by the opera, which is set in a mythical kingdom in ancient India.”
India Abroad, International Weekly Newspaper

(The Thief of Love)“a beautifully shot film… The drama moves along convincingly, never bogging down or getting sidetracked on tangents. And there is genuine good humor in it, a rarity in contemporary opera…The performers, from the principal cast through the chorus and orchestra, give their all. Gwendolyn Hillman, as Vidya, sings with warmth, strength and gracefulness. Hers is a voice that truly matters, and one that deserves international attention. James Brown is very well suited to the role of the youthful, charming Sundar…Among the secondary cast, Michael Douglas Jones (Vidya’s father) and Manami Hattori (Hira) are particularly praiseworthy. David Lawton directs a taut, dynamic interpretation of the score and the Stony Brook Orchestra plays as finely as many more well-known orchestras.
Opera News

(The Thief of Love) “Not only is the story entertaining, but so is the score. This is Silver’s first opera, but she knows what a good opera needs: melody. And she offers it in abundance. It all sounds quite fresh and appealing.” (read more)
American Record Guide

Sheila Silver’s Ek Ong Kar had singular originality and verve. Based on an Indian Sikh mantra, this was the most consistently inventive work of the evening.
Jules Langert, San Francisco Classical Voice

(Piano Concerto) The audience liked what it heard, calling composer, soloist and conductor back for several bows…. This is a modern work, but is not extremely dissonant. It is, however, almost savage at times, reminding one of Prokofiev gone wild. Lovely, lyric moments are offset by stormy passages that utilize the entire orchestra.. …chances are it could enter the standard repertory and stay there for a long time.”
Richmond Times Dispatch

Paley played like a man possessed…..there were shouts and cheers from the audience…. .
New York Times

“Her style is clear, accessible and non-tonal. And she knows how to write a great tune…..From Darkness Emerging is a fine piece by a master composer. It should be heard often.”
Susan Larsen, Boston Globe

“The work is a major contribution to chamber music, not only because of its unusual scoring but more importantly because of the music itself… In fact, the notes and phrases that comprise From Darkness Emerging are compelling: often intense, often lyrical in a dreamy kind of way, but always full of genuine inspiration.”
R. M. Campbell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“The middle movement (of From Darkness Emerging) was pure enchantment, with little strands of music spinning off from the main body of sound like so many horses on a wayward carousel.”
Washington Post

“Most important, “Spirit” is accessible unlike much modern music. There’s a rhyme and reason to it, a sense of direction. ….To say the least, “Spirit” is poignant, to say the most, remarkable.”
Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg

“….it (Sonata for Cello and Piano) is certainly one of the most immediately attractive string works I have heard from the second half of this century.”
David Denton, The Strad

“Sheila Silver offers in “The Song of Sarah” a remarkably evocative score based on the Bible…. It really touches both the mind and the heart.”
Robert Marsh, Chicago Sun Times

(Shirat Sara)“Silver’s ability to construct an argument sui generis impresses me the most. I’ve listened to this work a lot in the past month, and I discover something new each time. I don’t pretend to have its measure yet, although it’s not a matter of understanding the language so much as it is perceiving relationships among movements. I have no idea how to tell a masterpiece with any reliability, but Silver’s score at least makes me ask the question: if not, why not. I haven’t yet found an answer, a good sign.”   Stephen Schwarz, Classical CD Review

Sheila Silver’s Canto matches Pound’s text with music of a comparably audacious directness, simplicity, and specificity and therefore boldly occupies a psycho-spiritual region that few other composers have cared to approach; it is a beautiful work.”

Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

“The message of Sappho in Sheila Silver’s Chariessa is submerged in an expressionistic atmosphere of struggle and tenderness. …The incandescent chromaticism of the score by Silver is contained and controlled within highly calculated limits and sustained through a highly expert instrumentation. We would like to hear more of this musician.”
La Repubblica, Rome

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