Bassoonist Ethan Silverman was born on June 25, 1959, in Paterson, NJ, and grew up in Nanuet, NY, a quiet suburb of New York City. He began music studies early on, but at first his musical interests pendulated between classical and rock, and between the bassoon and the electric guitar. By late teens, though, classical had won (there are still some regrets about this) and Ethan accepted a scholarship to attend Juilliard. His bassoon teachers were Elias Carmen, Donald MacCourt and Harold Goltzer.
While still at Juilliard, Ethan became active professionally in a variety of performing and commercial music situations, and he has remained so ever since. In addition to the normal free-lance circuit and to the orchestra pits of Broadway, opera and ballet, he has been associated with a number of smaller and sometimes atypical ensembles. One notable example is an eclectic and wildly successful trio called Mozart On Fifth (“Terrific! Best band in New York!” according to Mayor Ed Koch), with which he toured widely both in the States and internationally over the span of a decade. He spent much of the late 80s and early 90s overseas, teaching bassoon in Korea and enjoying a stint in Holland with the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
In 1992 Ethan joined the New York City Ballet Orchestra as associate principal bassoon, a position he still holds. He is active in labor-management relations, serving on the Orchestra Committee and as the City Ballet Orchestra delegate to the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM).
Ethan has lived on the Upper West Side since his Juilliard days. Other interests include politics, pop music, the San Francisco Giants, and Jack Russell terriers.