Shilakowsky earned his Bachelor of Music cum laudé from New England Conservatory of Music and a Master's Degree from Yale University. His teachers include Joseph Silverstein, Koichiro Harada, Nancy Cirillo, and Leo Panasevich of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, David Cerone, Vali Bluttner and Yair Kless, chamber music with Joseph Gingold, Louis Krasner, Rudolph Kolisch, Eugene Lehner, master classes and chamber music with Oscar Shumsky and members of the Tokyo Quartet at Yale. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1955. He is a Tanglewood alumnus, and is an active composer. He has been listed in 'Who's Who in Musical America'. He has taught at several schools, including the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, the Thayer Conservatory @ Atlantic Union College, and The South Shore Conservatory, where he was the head of the string department, and as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston.