Bernardo was born in Oporto, Portugal. Graduated from Lisbon’s Escola Superior, studying with Jonathan Luxton. He also studied at Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg with Prof. Ab Koster. He attended classes and masterclasses with Radovan Vlatkovic, Hermann Baumann, Javier Bonet, Bruno Schneider, Stefan Dohr, Froydis Ree Wekre, Philip Myers, Fergus McWilliam, Hervé Joulain, Will Sanders, Jasper de Waal, Zdenek Tylsar, among others. 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 musician he performed with all the major Portuguese orchestras and several Spanish too.
He is a horn professor at the University of Aveiro and at Espinho’s Professional Music School. He frequently guides masterclasses in Portugal and abroad. He is regularly invited to jury of national and international competitions, has been in conpetitions in Portugal, Spain and Finland.
He has performed as a soloist, in recital, chamber music and orchestra in many countries in Europe, Brazil and Mexico. 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.
He was awarded the First Prize in the Philip Farkas Competition organized by the International Horn Society in Lahti, Finland in 2002.
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.
He has been a very active chamber music musician. He is a founding member of the quartet Trompas Lusas. The group is frequently present in concerts in Portugal and abroad.
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.