Bio

Clarinetist and arranger, Robert Olivia, is Associate Principal Librarian of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Olivia previously served as Principal Librarian of the Oregon, Naples and Detroit Symphony Orchestras as well as Acting Assistant Librarian of the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood and orchestra librarian of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.

Prior to coming to Seattle, Olivia worked in Hollywood at JoAnn Kane Music Service on over 100 motion pictures and television shows such as; Memoirs of a Geisha, Star Wars III - Revenge of the Sith, War of the Worlds, The Simpons and Family Guy. Recently, Olivia was invited to join the New York Philharmonic as Acting Assistant Librarian on their European Tour.

Olivia has composed arrangements for many popular artists such as Doc Severinsen, Marvin Hamlisch, Frederica von Stade and Samuel Ramey. Recently, his arrangements of classic Mancini pieces, Mr. Lucky and Peter Gunn, were published by the Mancini estate and Janen Music. Other projects include Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs for jazz combo and Gershwin’s Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off. He was also worked with many Indie/Alternative artists such as Pink Martini, Brandi Carlyle. As a clarinetist Olivia has recorded the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto and is in the process of editing his own transcription of the original film version of the piece.

Olivia is active part of the “mentor and supervisor” program at the University of Washington Information School Directed Fieldwork Program. With the assistance of participating graduate students, Olivia authored an archival exhibit and DVD of rare Seattle Symphony Library manuscripts, photos and news clippings, giving the public the first ever access to the Permanent Collection. Subsequently, Olivia created a public website devoted to providing public access to the orchestra library as well as a unique website devoted to providing information to the players.

Olivia is a native of New Jersey and began playing clarinet at age five, first taught by his father, the late Robert R. Olivia, a clarinetist and band director in the Plainfield Public Schools. Olivia continued his studies at Wilkes University, earning a B.M. in Music Education and worked closely there with jazz clarinetist Bob Wilber. He also holds a M.M. in Clarinet Performance from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with renowned pedagogue Leon Russianoff. Following graduate school, Olivia moved to Boston and continued his studies with Thomas Martin, Associate Principal Clarinet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Olivia continues to play actively. Olivia was the Second Prize winner of the Columbia International Chamber Music competition [MD] and in 1992 winner of the Artists’ International Competition in New York City. In 1993, Olivia made his Carnegie Recital Hall Debut as part of the Debut Winner’s Series with duo partner, pianist Marc Peloquin. Olivia has appeared as soloist with orchestras and presented in recitals throughout the United States on many prestigious series’, such as at the Gardner Museum and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. as well as in radio broadcasts including WGBH in Boston and WQXR & WNYC in New York City. Olivia and Peloquin have been honored to have several composers write works for them including American composer Bruce Reiprich and Romanian composer Sabin Pautza.
Other awards include a Clarinet Fellowship to Tanglewood in 1991 and the 1994 Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, Wilkes University [PA].

Olivia is member of Musicians Local 47 in Los Angeles (AFM), Recording Musicians Association (RMA), ASCAP and in his spare time enjoys his classic 1964 Buick Wildcat, wine making, golf and the great fly-fishing the Northwest has to offer.

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Radio

Mancini: Mr. Lucky
Raskin: Laura
Weber: Grand Duo concertante for Clarinet and Piano in E flat major, J 204/Op. 48
Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in B-flat major, FP 184
Finzi: Bagatelles (5) for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 23
Templeton: Pocket Size Sonata
Pautza: Preludes (2)
Schumann: Romanzen II, Op. 91
Goodman: Let's Dance & Bugle Call Rag
Horovitz: Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano
Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Bernstein: Prelude, Fugue and Riffs