Bernardo was born in Oporto, Portugal. Graduated from Lisbon’s Escola Superior, studying with Jonathan Luxton. He continued his studies with Ab Koster in Hamburg and with Radovan Vlatkovic and Javier Bonet in Madrid. With Ab Koster he started the study of natural horn. He has received a scholarship from the Gulbenkian Fundation and a scholarship merit award from the Lisbon Polytechnic Institute.
He is a member of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música. As a guest artist he has played with all the major Portuguese orchestras and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Galiza Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Reina Sofia, Spain.
He participated in master classes with Hermann Baumann, Ab Koster, Radovan Vlatkovic, Bruno Schneider, Javier Bonet, Stefan Dohr, Froydis Ree Wekre, Philip Myers, Fergus McWilliam, Hervé Joulain, Will Sanders, Jasper de Waal, Zdenek Tylsar, among others.
He has been a very active chamber music musician, is a founding member of the chamber music ensembles Camerata Senza Misura, Tu B’Horn, Ars Invicta, Trompas Lusas and Brahms Trio.
He taught at several academies and conservatories and is currently horn professor at the Espinho Professional Music School and the University of Aveiro. Bernardo oriented masterclasses in the major Portuguese music schools and cities.
It is regularly invited to be jury of the major national competitions, such as the Young Musicians Award and the International Competition for Wind Instruments “Terras de La-Salette.”
He was awarded the First Prize in the Philip Farkas Competition organized by the International Horn Society in Lahti, Finland in 2002. He has presented himself in several countries across Europe, as a solo performer, chamber musician and orchestral player. He performed as a guest artist in the 36th and 46th Symposium of International Horn Society, in Valencia and London respectively.
He has played as a soloist with several Portuguese and Spanish orchestras, performing works of Weber, R.Schumann, W.A.Mozart, Britten, Cherubini, Alex Poelman, Anders Emilsson and Aparicio Barberán.
His discography includes several solo works, chamber music and as a member of OSP Cdm. His both solo albums ‘Lunar Songs’ and ‘Solo’ have received excellent reviews. He performed the first world recording of the work ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ for solo horn and wind band of the composer Alex Poelman for the Dutch label Molenaar.
Bernardo has maintained a close relationship with several composers to extend the original repertoire for the instrument, having premiered many works. Such composers as Sergio Azevedo, Telmo Marques, Luís Carvalho and Liduino Pitombeira have dedicated works to him.
J. Bernardo Silva plays on Dürk Horns, and exclusive Romera Brass mouthpieces.