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Faye-Ellen Silverman began her music studies before the age of four at the Dalcroze School of Music. She first achieved national recognition by winning the Parents League Competition, judged by Leopold Stokowski, at the age of 13. She holds a BA from Barnard, cum laude and honors in music, and an AM from Harvard and a DMA from Columbia, both in music composition. She spent her junior year of college at Mannes College. Her teachers have included Otto Luening, William Sydeman, Leon Kirchner, Lukas Foss, Vladimir Ussachevsky, and Jack Beeson. Seesaw Music, a division of Subito Music, publishes about 85 of her compositions. Zigzags is available on Crystal Records, Taming the Furies is available on Capstone, and Passing Fancies, Restless Winds, and Speaking Alone are on New World Recordings. An entire CD of her chamber work, Manhattan Stories, with Tranlations, Dialogue, Dialogue Continued; Taming the Furies, Love Songs, and Left Behind, is available on Albany. .
Silverman's awards include the selection of her Oboe-sthenics to represent the United States at the International Rostrum of Composers/UNESCO, resulting in international radio broadcasts (1982); winning the Indiana State [Orchestral] Composition Contest, resulting in a performance by the Indianapolis Symphony (1982); a Governor's Citation (1982); and having September 30, 1982 named Faye-Ellen Silverman Day in Baltimore by Mayor Donald Schaeffer. Additionally, she has been the recipient of the National League of American Pen Women’s biennial music award (2002), yearly Standard Awards from ASCAP (now known as ASCAPlus) since 1983, several Meet the Composer grants, and an American Music Center grant. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2007, 2010), a resident scholar at the Villa Serbelloni of the Rockefeller Foundation (1987), a Composers' Conference Fellow (1985), a Yaddo Fellow (1984), and a MacDowell Fellow (1982). She is currently a Founding Board Member of the International Women's Brass Conference (for which she has served as composer-in-residence), a founding member of Music Under Construction, a composers’ collective, and a founding member of the International Women’s Review Board (ABI).
The Baltimore Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, the New Orleans Philharmonic, the International Experimental Music Festival in Bourges, ISCM - Korea section, Nieuwe Oogst (Belgium), Grupo Musica Hoje (Brazil), he Corona Guitar Quartet (Denmark), the Monday Evening Concert series (L.A.), and the Aspen Music Festival have performed Dr. Silverman’s works. She has received commissions from the Edinboro University Chamber Players, Seraphim, Philip A. De Simone (in memory of Linda J. Warren), Larry Madison, Thomas Matta, the International Women’s Brass Conference, the Monarch Brass Quintet, the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, the Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates, the Con Spirito woodwind quintet, the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra, the Fromm Music Foundation, the Chamber Music Society of Baltimore, and a joint commission from the American Brass Quintet, the Catskill Brass Quintet, the Mt. Vernon Brass Players, and the Southern Brass quintet (under the National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Commissioning Program). She has also created pieces at the request of flutist Nina Assimakopoulos (Laurels Project), Sergio Puccini (Argentina), and the Corona Guitar Quartet of Denmark, and Volkmar Zimmermann (Denmark), among others.
Silverman is also the author of several articles, record reviews for The Baltimore Sun, and the 20th century section of the Schirmer History of Music. She has taught at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, several branches of the City University of New York and Columbia University. She has been a member of the Mannes College The New School for Music faculty since 1991, and of its Extension Division since 1995. She also teaches at the Eugene Lang College The New School for Libera"