Harris Shilakowsky


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I was born in Boston. I've played my violin in small and large ensembles, orchestras, choruses, and as a soloist. I started piano with my mother, Rina Shiller at age 5. Then began violin at age 9. I played blues & rock organ in my teens. I sang in my Junior High chorus and tried acting in the school musical. Rehearsed with Wes Riley’s jazz band during my conservatory years, then went to Yale for my master’s. Took a year off from master’s degree studies to serve as concertmaster of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. After Yale, I got into the Buffalo Philharmonic & the Nashville Symphony, where I also was a session musician. I did gigs as concertmaster of Grand Rapids, New Orleans & Charleston Symphony orchestras, and as a guest leader of the London Symphony. I enjoyed playing in the pit for musical theater, touring Germany and USA and working in theaters in Boston, Providence and NYC. As a pro, I backed up Rod Stewart, Pavarotti, Moody Blues, Charlotte Church, Irish Tenors, Bobby Vinton, KD Lang, Johnny Mathis, Smoky Robinson, Sarah Brightman, Anne Murray, Linda Ronstadt, a boat-load of opera singers and ballet dancers and jazz and rock musicians. My songwriting & composition is flavored by my Judaism and music of America...funk, rock, pop, rap, blues, bluegrass, country, honky tonk, classical & jazz & R&B. My lyrics reflect current events both external and internal; my life as a musician, husband, father and teacher and concerned citizen of the world.