Born in Timkovichi, Belarus, and moved to Slutsk at an early age. He studied at the Warsaw Conservatory from 1890, and later at the St. Petersburg Conservatory under Rimsky-Korsakov. After graduating in 1903, he took part in the establishment of the Society for Jewish Folk Music in St. Petersburg. In 1912, he settled in Riga, where he directed the Royal Conservatory and led various choirs. Skliar wrote many choral works and vocal arrangements, set in various genres of Jewish music such as Yiddish songs, among others.