Hailed by colleagues as a "complete musician", Joseph Silverstein has been called one of the most accomplished and versatile American violinists of his generation. After graduating from Curtis, Silverstein became a member of the Houston Symphony, and joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as its youngest member, later to become the concertmaster for twenty-two years and serve as assistant conductor. He has won the silver medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and the following year he was awarded the prestigious Naumburg Prize.
He became music director of the Worcester (Massachusetts) Symphony Orchestra, served as principal guest conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and then appointed music director of the Utah Symphony. Later was made conductor laureate. "As a conductor," Silverstein has remarked, "I try to provide the players with what I feel I needed from the conductor when I was in the orchestra." He is chairman of the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center and has held posts as associate professor of music, first at Yale University and later at Boston University.