Jeffrey Silberschlag, St. Mary’s College of Maryland Steven Muller Distinguished Professor in the Arts, music director and conductor of the Chesapeake Orchestra and the college’s annual summer River Concert Series, and co-director of the Alba International Music Festival in northern Italy, has been awarded the 2011 Prize for Artistic and Cultural Activities from the European Union of the Arts.
This award honors his lifetime achievements in classical music as a conductor and trumpeter. He was guest conducting in Prague when told of the award.
“Maestro Silberschlag has contributed to our college and our community in so many ways,” St. Mary’s President Joseph Urgo said upon hearing of the honor. “We’d like to think he is ours; however, this prize proves we must share him with the world.”
“This is really a very big deal,” said David Froom, St. Mary’s music department chair. “It shows the level of respect he has in Europe as a conductor and trumpet player. We were thrilled to hear about this splendid award. Because we see him day-to-day, deeply engaged in teaching and administering, it is easy to forget that he is an artist of international stature.”
Born in Pikesville, Maryland, Silberschlag grew up in a world of music; his father was a businessman by day and a successful jazz drummer by night. His grandmother introduced him to the trumpet when he was just six.
He was an associate principal trumpeter at the Jerusalem Symphony and a principal trumpet player for the RAI Italian National Symphony in Torino before coming to St. Mary’s in 1988. As trumpeter, he plays and records throughout Europe, and he is a regular presence on the guest conducting circuit. The college recently profiled the talented Silberschlag in one of its publications.
The prizes of the European Union of Arts are awarded to artists, cultural activists, associations, institutions, and to cities as well as prominent personalities. Rarely has a musician from the United States been recognized.
Giuseppe Nova, co-director of the Alba Music Festival and an internationally renowned solo flutist, and tenor and conductor Placido Domingo were also awarded a European Union of the Arts prize this year.