DR. PEDRO HENRIQUES DA SILVA IS A PORTUGUESE COMPOSER, MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST, PROFESSOR, AND LECTURER IN VARIOUS FIELDS OF MUSIC, ARTS, AND SCIENCES. HE IS A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK UNIVERSITY FACULTY IN COMPOSITION, CLASSICAL GUITAR, MANDOLIN, BANJO, AND SITAR. HE ALSO PRESENTS MASTER CLASSES AND LECTURES INTERNATIONALLY AT MUSEUMS, UNIVERSITIES, AND INSTITUTIONS ON A VARIETY OF TOPICS RANGING FROM MUSIC AND PHYSICS, ART, MUSIC TECHNOLOGY; WITH SOLD-OUT COURSES AT MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (NYC).
Dr. Pedro Henriques da Silva is a Portuguese composer, multi-instrumentalist, professor, and lecturer in various fields of music, arts, and sciences; whose numerous awards include the 2015 and 2016 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) Plus Award, the 2017 International Portuguese Music Awards (IPMA), for Best Instrumental Performance, and the Best Emerging Filmmaker Documentary Award at the American Pavilion at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
He is a member of the New York University faculty in composition, classical guitar, mandolin, banjo, and sitar. He also presents master classes and lectures internationally at museums, universities, and institutions on a variety of topics ranging from music and physics, art, and music technology, with sold-out courses at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC).
In April 2016, he received the great honor of performing and arranging music for the Orchestra and Choir of the Swan for the 400th anniversary memorial of Shakespeare’s death at his church, the Holy Trinity Church of Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. After this performance, Pedro and his wife Lucia Caruso were selected by the Orchestra of the Swan to be their composers and artist-in-residence for 2016-19. He was commissioned a ballet by the José Limón Dance Company, which premiered in April 2014 with seven sold-out performances at the Joyce Theater in New York City. Pedro performed his own works as a soloist with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Swan in the UK, and Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris. He has also been commissioned to write and perform orchestral and chamber music by the Ahae foundation at the Jardin des Tuileries and Louvre Museum in Paris, Versailles Palace, Magazzini del Sale in Venice, Kew Royal Palace in London, and Grand Central Station in New York.
He was commissioned a cycle of five songs for soprano, choir and orchestra, “Echoes of Nature” in 2014, and the first concerto for Portuguese guitar and orchestra in history by the Ahae Foundation and the Sorel Foundation in 2018. In 2019, he was commissioned to compose and album of Shakespeare songs by Sue and Allen Rogers. His Portuguese guitar concerto had its world premiere on December 5th 2017 with Orchestra of the Swan in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, at the Stratford Arts House—and it was recorded with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at the Abbey Road Studios in London in July 2019, in both occasions with Pedro as a soloist. Both albums of songs “Echoes of Nature” and “Shakespeare Songs” had their world premiere and recording in June 2019 with Orchestra of the Swan in Stratford-upon-Avon, also at the Holy Trinity Church, with soprano Laetitia Spitzer, conducted by the Royal Shakespeare Company Music Director Bruce O’Neil.
Pedro and his wife, Lucía Caruso, are the stars of the 2018 documentary, Death Metal Grandma. The film had its world premiere at SXSW Film Festival, was featured in the front pages of the New York Times’ Op-Docs, Washington Post, the Atlantic, etc., and was screened in forty different film festivals, including the Oscar-qualifying Aspen Shortsfest, Toronto Hot Docs, NYC Docs, and the American Pavilion at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Emerging Filmmaker Documentary Award.
He is also appears in another 2018 documentary, “Forte”, a film about three groundbreaking women in the arts. Lucía was asked to be one of the three women and to compose the score. Pedro orchestrated and composed additional music for the score.
Pedro and Lucia are co-owners of Light & Sound Scoring, a New York based film music company. Collectively, the two have recorded for many films including: two scores for Oscar-winning director Michel Gondry (“Be Kind Rewind,” “Interior Design” from the “Tokyo” triptych), as well as recordings with acclaimed film composer Jean-Michel Bernard (“The Science of Sleep,” “Human Nature”). In total they have scored nine films, including Richard Témtchine’s “How to Seduce Difficult Women,” and two new scores for silent masterpieces by Georges Méliès for full orchestra and choir. Pedro has also composed for the prize-winning documentary “Tijuana nada más...” (2009) by Yolanda Pividal and Carmen Vidal, the winner of a student Oscar.
At Carnegie Hall, Pedro has had three performances to date in both the Isaac Stern Auditorium and Weill Hall: as a soloist, as part of an ensemble, and as a composer. Of Pedro’s 26 orchestral works, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas commissioned 16, with whom he has performed as a soloist, as well as with other orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, the London Metropolitan Orchestra, and the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris. He has collaborated with members of illustrious orchestras – London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic – and has recorded his orchestral and chamber works at some of the world’s finest studios: Abbey Road Studio 1 with Grammy-winning producer Stephen McLaughlin, British Grove Studios, New York University’s Dolan Studios, and Legacy Studios in New York.
Pedro is the Music Director of the Manhattan Camerata, co-founded in 2009 with his wife, Argentine composer and pianist, Lucía Caruso. The Manhattan Camerata is an innovative chamber orchestra that performs transclassical music – a term Lucía coined to describe a style based on classical music techniques and instruments, incorporating improvisation and elements from different cultures around the world in a variety of styles and genres, integrating world instruments in a range of styles and genres. The orchestra counts as its members three Grammy-nominees including Daniel Binelli – arguably the greatest living bandoneon player. The Manhattan Camerata won an International Portuguese Music Award for Best Instrumental Performance in 2017.
Pedro’s compositions and performances have taken him to over a dozen countries across four continents: throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, UK, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark, Finland, Israel, South Korea, and India. He has performed at the world’s preeminent concert halls: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, (le) Poisson Rouge, and MoMA in New York; Kennedy Center in Washington DC; Musée du Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, and Versailles in France; Monserrate Palace, and Centro Cultural de Belém in Portugal; Auditorio Silvestre Revueltas in Mexico City; Kew Royal Palace in London, and Bartók Radio in Budapest, Hungary among many others.
He completed a bachelor’s degree in classical guitar studying with Oren Fader, and holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in composition studying with Nils Vigeland and Richard Danielpour at the Manhattan School of Music. He wrote his doctoral thesis – “Modal Relations and Classification” – on modes and scales from all over the world, classifying, researching and analyzing over 2000 scales from four different standpoints: acoustics, ethnomusicology, music history and set-theory. Some of the modal systems he investigated are: Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Thai, Indonesian, Persian, Turkish, Ancient Greek, Ecclesiastical, as well as African and Latin American music. Furthermore, he studied sitar in India in 2001 and 2002 with Neeraj Prem, who is a disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan’s gharana – the most respected musician in India when he was alive.
Pedro has given master classes and lectures in the fields in which he specializes: composition, ethnomusicology, tuning, music and physics, music and the visual arts, Wagner, Messiaen, film scoring, John Williams’ leitmotif system, music technology, and guitar, in the US, Mexico, Argentina, and Portugal.
His acoustical investigations have led him to explore the possibilities of electronic instruments and software to create microtonal music, and to reproduce the subtleties of historic and non-Western tuning systems. To that effect, he has explored the hundreds of tuning systems of Logic, Scala, and several iPhone applications, and is a proponent of Hermode tuning and custom tunings.
Throughout his youth and early adulthood, his family moved to a dozen countries on five continents, which resulted in his lifelong exploration of World music and ethnomusicology. He is also a respected player on the ukulele, specializes in sitar and mandolin as well, and can play any plucked stringed instrument – having a collection of eighteen different instruments, including: sitar, bouzouki, cuatro, oud, lute, mandolin, mandola, banjo, balalaika, bass, ukulele, cavaquinho, viola braguesa, and classical, electric and Portuguese guitars. He is an innovator who plays classical music and other styles beyond fado on the Portuguese guitar, and is expanding the vocabulary of the instrument.