Guillermo Silveira is a lifelong composer, concert pianist, poet, teacher, and peace activist. His work reflects pan-American influences from the tango writers of his Argentine homeland to some of America's best-known modern composers.
Dr. Silveira's compositions include symphonies, chamber music, opera, film scores, and multicultural/ multimedia art. His works have been performed worldwide, in venues from the United Nations to The National Theater, The Smithsonian Institution, various embassies in Washington, D.C., and prominent museums and schools in Buenos Aires and Seville.
He has received commissions from individual sponsors and diverse organizations such as Citicorp, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Biggs Museum of American Art. His work has been reviewed in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, City Paper, and other publications, and he has earned awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and other cultural organizations. His works have been performed by the the Argentine National Symphony Orchestra, the Catholic University Orchestra, the Virginia Youth Orchestra, Musicamaramericana, and Skies of Washington.
Silveira writes in a wide range of musical genres, from cantata to opera and musical, from primitive music instruments and concrete sounds to computer electronic music, for solo instruments to symphonies.
Silveira's major compositions include the piano concerto Argentina Fantastica; chamber opera Please, Call Me… Jackie; MetrOpera; film scores for Jorge Acha's Habeas Corpus (1986), Standard (1989) and Thalassa, (2017); Music on Salvador Dali’s Art (2019); and Endangered Animals (2020). His work is referenced in Latin American Classical Composers: A Biographical Dictionary.
Silveira's multidimensional art has its roots in his homeland and in his family of concert pianists, composers, and artists. His father, Eduardo, was a renowned pianist who performed in national and international venues, including the historic Café Tortoni in Buenos Aires, a gathering place for Argentina's tango writers and poets in their 20th-century cultural heyday. Guillermo's mother was a fashion designer to Argentine elites and film stars.
Powerful figures in Silveira's life strongly influenced his creative process. In Argentina he studied with composer-pianist Roberto Caamaño, composer Gerardo Gandini, and violinist Ljerko Spiller. After coming to the United States on an OAS scholarship to The Catholic University of America, he received mentoring, advice, and reviews of his compositions from American avant-garde composers John Cage, George Crumb, and Leonard Bernstein. He also studied with ethnomusicologist, composer, and Stravinski student Robert M. Stevenson, who encouraged Silveira to cultivate a pan-American perspective in his work. Silveira's later work explores themes of humanism and mysticism inspired in part by childhood influences, including the poet Jorge Luis Borges (his neighbor in Buenos Aires), Pope Francis, and by an artistic encounter with the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí.
During the 2020 pandemic shutdown, Silveira has hosted interdisciplinary, thematically organized online lectures and performances featuring his work and that of other artists, funded in part by an award from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences MusiCare organization.
Silveira's compositions have been described as “post-modern sound books” with “complex lyrical landscapes.” From La Nación, Buenos Aires: "[Silveira] has ideas and knows how to express them with coherence, proficiency, and good sense.” From The Washington Post: “good theater, and even better music,” “dramatic and effective”; evidence of where Latin American music is going"; "There is no other musician in Washington — perhaps no other musician anywhere — quite like Guillermo Silveira."
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