Short Bio: Maestro Hector Olivera
Since entering the Buenos Aires Conservatory as a child prodigy at age six, Maestro Hector Olivera has become one of the most sought-after and revered international concert organists of the present time.
“The Times Reporter” describes an evening with Mr. Olivera as: “An event, a happening, a joyful celebration of the sheer power and pressure that a true virtuoso like Hector Olivera can unleash in a concert hall.”
Born in Buenos Aires, Mr. Olivera began playing the pipe organ when he was three. At age five, he played for the legendary Eva Perón; at twelve, he entered the University of Buenos Aires and, by eighteen, had performed for heads of state and celebrities throughout Latin America. When offered a scholarship to the renowned Juilliard School of Music in New York, he moved to the United States.
Maestro Olivera has performed solo concerts throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and Latin America, and as a guest soloist with prominent symphony orchestras worldwide.
In 2023, Maestro Hector Olivera received the prestigious “Delta Omicron Gold Crest,” awarded to musicians with an outstanding musical career, reputation, and international renown.
Hector Olivera continues to dazzle audiences with his prodigious technical proficiency and his charismatic stage personality. Whether in a prestigious venue like Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, Constitution Hall, or Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the most sophisticated and demanding organ aficionados claim that Maestro Hector Olivera is “one of the finest organists in the world today.
Long biography: Maestro Hector Olivera
Maestro Hector Olivera is a passionate, gifted, and unique musician whose personal interpretations of both classical and popular music have amazed and delighted audiences around the world.
“The Times Reporter” describes an evening with Hector Olivera as: “An event, a happening, a joyful celebration of the sheer power and pressure that a true virtuoso like Hector Olivera can unleash in a concert hall.”
Born in Buenos Aires, Mr. Olivera’s first teacher (who was his father) encouraged him to begin playing the pipe organ when he was three. Two years later, he was appointed Church of the Immaculate Conception organist. At age five, he played for the legendary Eva Perón. At six, he entered the Buenos Aires Conservatory to study harmony, counterpoint, and fugue. By age nine, he had composed a suite for oboe and string orchestra, performed by the Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra.At age twelve, Mr. Olivera entered the University of Buenos Aires, where he studied with Hector Zeoli and Juan Francisco Giacobbe. By eighteen, he had performed more than three hundred concerts throughout Latin America, appearing frequently on Argentinean radio and television. During this time, he also served as the senior improvisational accompanist for the Collegium Musicum in Buenos Aires, vastly increasing his prodigious improvisational talent.
In 1965, New York’s prestigious Juilliard School of Music offered him a scholarship. He immediately moved to the United States to study with Vernon de Tar and Bronson Reagan. Three years later, Mr. Olivera won the National Improvisation Contest sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, launching his outstanding professional concert career.
In 1988, after years of performing in the United States, Maestro Olivera was invited to play again in Argentina. Upon arriving, he was welcomed as a national hero with “Standing Room Only” concerts attended by celebrities and heads of state, and he was featured on national radio and television shows.
Throughout his concert career, Mr. Olivera has performed in prestigious venues including the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Constitution Hall in Washington D.C, the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Myerson Concert Hall in Dallas, Verizon Hall in Philadelphia, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Sydney Town Hall, Melbourne Town Hall and Brisbane City Hall in Australia.
In addition to his solo concerts, Mr. Olivera has performed as a guest soloist with orchestras worldwide, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Fort Wayne Symphony, the Dover-New Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Amsterdam Baroque Ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Pasadena Symphony. Composer Robert Vandall described Mr. Olivera’s performance with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic as “an opportunity to hear and see greatness.”
His collaboration with the Pasadena Symphony produced a ‘Limited Edition Gold CD’ featuring Mr. Olivera in the Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3.
In 1992, Mr. Olivera was a guest artist at the American Guild of Organists convention at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, performing the world premiere of a commissioned work written by William Albright. Later, from this same stage, Olivera performed on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” according to Keillor, he “literally stopped the show!”
In 1996, in celebration of the Olympic games, Mr. Olivera was given the honor to perform a solo concert at Spivey Hall, Atlanta for which he received multiple standing ovations. The ‘Atlanta Journal Constitution’ wrote: “Olivera swept the audience with absolute Olympic virtuosity, and that still doesn’t say it…. Hector Olivera is in a class by himself.”
In 2000, Mr. Olivera performed a solo memorial concert in New York City’s “St. Paul the Apostle” as a tribute to the legendary organist Virgil Fox. He played a subsequent Virgil Fox Memorial Concert at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, in 2004.
In 2002, Mr. Olivera was invited again to perform for the American Guild of Organists National Convention, where his transcription of Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” spontaneously brought a large audience of peers to their feet. Again, in 2004, his appearance before the Guild’s National Convention in Los Angeles was considered a historic triumph by 2,200 cheering organists, who gave him four standing ovations in 45 minutes.
By popular demand, Hector Olivera performed regularly at the celebrated Newport Classical Music Festival. The “Providence Journal” acclaimed: “Organist Hector Olivera brought the Newport Music Festival to a spectacular close.”
By invitation, Mr. Olivera performed a solo concert attended by an audience of 5,000 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on August 12, 2007.
“Mr. Olivera… sublime improvisations indeed, “quoted Olivier Latry, organist at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
In 2010, Mr. Olivera’s magnificent recital at the renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles moved an enthusiastic audience to its feet. The ‘Pasadena Star’ wrote: “Olivera began winsomely but gradually morphed into a gigantic mass of sound with elements of Messiaen, Vierne, and others folded in, including a reprise of the Bach Passacaglia and Fugue from the first half. The audience was on its collective feet at the end, deservedly…. No encores were played… or needed.”
In 2014, Mr. Olivera was invited to perform at the Grand Hong Kong Cultural Center Concert Hall and the magnificent Shenzhen Concert Hall in China.
In 2016, Maestro Olivera toured Australia, where he brought the house down at the glorious Sydney Town Hall, the resplendent Melbourne Town Hall, and the stunning Brisbane City Hall.
Once again, in 2023, Maestro Olivera was invited to perform at the prestigious Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, receiving standing ovations and rave reviews.
Maestro Hector Olivera received the prestigious “Delta Omicron Gold Crest,” awarded to musicians with an outstanding musical career and international renown.
Mr. Olivera continues to thrill audiences with solo classical and orchestral compositions, now released on DVD and over 20 classical, contemporary, and film score CDs.
Most famous for his prodigious technical proficiency and charismatic stage presence, Mr. Olivera’s amazing effect on audiences has made many of the most sophisticated and demanding organ aficionados claim that Maestro Hector Olivera is “one of the greatest organists in the world today.”
For information about Maestro Hector Olivera’s performance schedule, CD/DVDs, critical acclaim, and special events, visit www.HectorOlivera.com
Mr. Olivera can be contacted at: Lieveoli@aol.com
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