Miguel da Silva

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Long-known as the violist of the Ysaÿe Quartet, French-Swiss violist Miguel da Silva has enjoyed a growing solo career.
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The French-Swiss violist Miguel da Silva has notched distinguished accomplishments as a chamber musician, with the Ysaÿe Quartet, as a solo player, and as an educator. Silva was born in Reims, France, on January 7, 1961 and was accepted for studies at the National Conservatory of Reims as a child. He went on to the National Conservatory of Paris, studying with Serge Collot and taking top prizes in viola and in chamber playing. He would continue to pursue these dual career strands. Silva won the First Grand Prix at the International Chamber Music Competition in Paris in 1985 and around the same time joined the Paris Opera Orchestra. Two years later he departed and joined with three friends to establish the Ysaÿe Quartet, which moved to Germany for studies with the Amadeus Quartet in Cologne. The ensemble won major prizes and toured widely, in the U.S. and Japan as well as in Europe, before disbanding in 2014 so that the members could pursue their own careers. The group also taught chamber music at the former National Conservatory of Paris. Silva has also played chamber music with other collaborators, including Paul Meyer, Leonidas Kavakos, Antonio Meneses, Henri Demarquette, and Truls Mork, however, and this aspect of his career has continued. As a soloist he has appeared with the Sinfonia Varsovia of Warsaw, the Franz Liszt Orchestra of Budapest, the Paris Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Poland, among other groups. As a teacher, Silva was active at the Academie Villecroze, at the University of Southern California, at the Hochschule für Musik Lübeck, and at a variety of European festivals before his appointment as professor of viola at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to his large catalog of recordings with the Ysaÿe Quartet, Silva has been heard with the Busch Trio on a cycle of Dvorak chamber works on the Alpha label, the second volume of which appeared in 2018. He has also been heard in duo albums on the Transart Live label. Silva was made a Chevalier of the French Order of Arts and Letters in 1999.