Click on each topic or scroll down to see complete information
Elmar Oliveira has taken his place as one of the most commanding violinists of our time, with his unsurpassed combination of impeccable artistry and old-world elegance. Mr. Oliveira is one of the few major artists committed to the entire spectrum of the violin world constantly expanding traditional repertoire boundaries as a champion of contemporary music and rarely-heard works of the past, devoting energy to the development of the young artists of tomorrow, and enthusiastically supporting the art of modern violin and bow makers.
Among his generation’s most honored artists, Elmar Oliveira remains the first and only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky International Competition. He is also the first violinist to receive the coveted Avery Fisher Prize, in addition to capturing First Prizes at the Naumburg international Competition and the G.B. Dealey Competition.
Mr. Oliveira has become a familiar and much-admired figure at the world’s foremost concert venues. His rigorous international itinerary includes appearances in recital and with many of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Zurich Tonhalle, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Leipzig, Gewandhaus Orchestras; the New York, Helsinki, Los Angeles and London Philharmonic Orchestras; and the San Francisco, Saint Louis, Boston, and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. He has also extensively toured the Far East, South America, Australia and New Zealand. Mr. Oliveira’s current engagements include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra; the San Diego Symphony, Washington’s National Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Vancouver Symphony and the Oregon Symphony.
Mr. Oliveira’s repertoire is among the most diverse of any of today’s preeminent artists. While he has been hailed for his performances of the standard violin literature, he is also a much sought-after interpreter of the music of our time. He has premiered works by such distinguished composers as Morton Gould, Ezra Laderman, Charles Wuorinen, Joan Tower, Andrzej Panufnik, Benjamin Lees, Nicholas Flagello, Leonard Rosenman, Hugh Aitken, and Richard Yardumian. He has also performed seldom-heard concerti by Alberto Ginastera, Einoujuhani Rautavaara, Joseph Achron, Joseph Joachim, and many others. He recently gave the Spanish premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Second Violin Concerto, conducted by the celebrated composer.
A prodigious recording artist, Elmar Oliveira was a Grammy nominee for his CD of the Barber Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony. His discography on Artek, Angel, SONY Masterworks, Vox, Delos, IMP, Ondine, and Melodiya ranges widely from works by Bach and Vivaldi to the Present. His best-selling recording of the Rautavaara Violin Concerto with the Helsinki Philharmonic (Ondine) won a Cannes Classical Award and has appeared on Gramophone’s “Editor’s Choice” and other Best Recordings lists around the world. Other recordings include the Brahms and Saint-Saëns B minor Concerti with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony (Artek), the Respighi B minor and Pizzeti A Major Violin Sonatas (Artek), “Favorite Encores” with pianist Robert Koenig (Artek), the three Brahms Sonatas with pianist Jorge Osorio (Artek), the Joachim Concerto “In the Hungarian Manner” with the London Philharmonic (IMP) and the Tower Concerto (written for him) with the Louisville Orchestra (d’Note), the Chausson Concerto for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet, and the Lekeu Sonata(Biddulph). Of great historical significance are two unique projects: a CD released by Bein & Fushi of Chicago, featuring Mr. Oliveira performing on some of the world’s greatest violins (fifteen Stradivaris and fifteen Guarneri del Gesus), and a recording of short pieces highlighting the rare violins from the collection of the Library of Congress.
The son of Portuguese immigrants, Mr. Oliveira was nine when he began studying the violin with his brother John. He later continued his studies with Ariana Bronne and Raphael Bronstein at the Hartt College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, where Mr. Oliveira also received an honorary doctorate. Other honors include the Portuguese Order of Santiago. He has served on the juries of some of the most prestigious violin competitions, including the Montréal, Indianapolis, Naumburg, and Vianna da Motta. Elmar Oliveira performs exclusively on an instrument known as the “Stretton”, made ca. 1729-31 by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, and on an exact copy of that violin made by Curtin and Alf in 1993.
Visit Elmar Oliveira’s websites at
To order Elmar Oliveira’s recordings online, click on