Tracy Silverman, Electric Violin

Lauded by BBC Radio as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin”, Tracy Silverman is the world’s foremost electric violin soloist, bringing concert hall legitimacy to this next-generation instrument.

Pulitzer and Grammy award winning composer John Adams raves: “No one makes that instrument sing and soar like Tracy, floating on the cusp between Jasha Heifetz and Jimi Hendrix.”

As part of Silverman’s vision for the “future of strings”, he has  premiered and recorded several major new electric violin concertos written specifically for him by composers John Adams (The Dharma at Big Sur), Terry Riley (The Palmian Chord Ryddle), Nico Muhly (Seeing is Believing), Roberto Sierra (Ficciones), Kenji Bunch (Embrace), and 3 concertos of his own; appearing with the LA Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and many others at Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and stages all over the world.

Formerly first violinist with the innovative Turtle Island String Quartet, Silverman was named one of 100 distinguished alumni by The Juilliard School and is notable not only for his development and use of the electric 6-string violin, but also for what he terms “progressive string playing”, an evolution of classical string playing that embraces contemporary popular idioms such as rock, jazz and hip hop.

TV/internet and radio includes a solo Tiny Desk Concert on NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday, and a profile on CBS News Sunday Morning.

A longtime proponent of string education, Silverman is the author of The Strum Bowing Method: How to Groove on Strings, The Rhythm String Player: Strum Bowing in Action, as well as numerous etude books and online courses on the Strum Bowing Groove Academy. Silverman is on the faculty of Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

Appeared in


Mimesis: Musical Representations

American Masters