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Hector Olivera

Hector Olivera

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Olivera started playing the pipe organ at the age of three, was appointed organist for the Church of the Immaculate Conception two years later, and at age six entered the Buenos Aires Conservatory to study harmony, counterpoint and fugue. Olivera became the youngest student to enter the University of Buenos Aires; he was twelve. By the time he was eighteen, he had been appointed head of the organ department and in addition to being featured regularly on radio and television, had performed over 350 public concerts and recitals. Olivera also served for three years as the senior improvisational accompanist for the Collegium Musicum in Buenos Aires, a role credited as being a major building block in his noted ability to improvise.

In 1965, Hector Olivera was offered a scholarship to the Julliard School of Music in New York City, where he continued his organ studies. He also studied privately with Dr. Vernon de Tar. In 1968, Mr. Olivera entered and won the National Improvisation Contest sponsored by the American Guild of Organists.

Hector Olivera has performed extensively abroad, including performances in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Holland, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. He was the featured organist in the 1978, 1980 and 1984 “International Organ Festivals” in Manchester, England. Olivera’s European tour received highly favorable reviews and resulted in public displays of enthusiasm generally not associated with the more conservative European audiences, While in Paris, Olivera was honored with an invitation to inspect and play the magnificent organ in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. During the tour, his classical LP, recorded on the historical Hinsz-organ (1742) at the Boven of St. Nicholasschurch in Kampen, Holland and his original composition based on the Psalm 138 also received very positive acclaim in Europe.

In 1987, after 21 years of residing in the United States, Mr. Olivera was invited to perform once again in Argentina. Upon his arrival, the country looked upon him as a national hero. Heads of State, celebrities and masses of people flocked in droves to stand by his side as he appeared on television and at standing room only concerts. Also in the same year, was the guest soloist for a “Farewell For Now” concert performed on the Minneapolis 5 manual, 122 rank Kimball pipe organ with the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Jahja Ling.

Since his arrival in the United States, Olivera has released 20 recordings including a live program from Japan, a disc of transcriptions produced in England, a classical recording produced in Holland, and a double cassette recording of a live concert in Sydney, Australia. In addition to these, Olivera’s performances on the organs of several major United States cities have been recorded on a variety of albums.

In 1992, Mr. Olivera had the unique opportunity to be the featured performer at both the National American Theater Organ Convention and 75th National American Guild of Organists Convention. The AGO concert, held at the “Fabulous Fox Theater” in Atlanta, Georgia, included a performance of a commissioned composition written by William Albright. Mr. Olivera received multiple curtain calls and raving reviews from both concerts.

Hector Olivera is a dedicated and talented musician whose very personal interpretations of music literature prove popular with diverse audiences worldwide.

Critical Acclaim

“Olivera…entertained his receptive audience with a dazzling display of sonic and technical marvels…the balance and ensemble were fine…Olivera is an engaging performer who clearly has found his particular niche and fits it splendidly.”

Joan Reinthaler
Washington Post

“…one of the most gifted artists now before the public.”

Mrs. Maire Maazel
Pittsburgh Youth Symphony

“Olivera swept his audience away with absolute Olympic organ virtuosity, and that still doesn’t say it…enough to put Olivera in a class by himself.”

Atlanta Journal

“It is totally impossible, in print, to adequately describe and do justice to the brilliance of his technique.”

International Organ Festival
Manchester, England

“…his interpretation of the 1812 Overture of Tschaikowsky showed his full knowledge of the orchestral score worthy of comparing him to the most celebrated conductors.”

La Prensa
Buenos Aires, Argentina

“Combining talent and comedy akin to that of Victor Borge, Hector Olivera brought the house down with a stupendous performance. From the moment the organ console rose to the stage, the audience was spellbound.”

Margaret McElwain Kemper
American Guild of Organists Magazine

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