Photo by Tucker Densley

Photo by Tucker Densley

Elmar Oliveira is an American violinist whose remarkable combination of impeccable artistry and old- world elegance sets him apart as one of our most celebrated living artists. Oliveira remains the first and only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at Moscow's prestigious Tchaikovsky International Competition. He was the first violinist to receive the coveted Avery Fisher Prize and won First Prize at the Naumburg International Competition.

Son of Portuguese immigrants, Oliveira was nine when he began studying the violin with his brother, John Oliveira and then attended the Hartt College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He holds honorary doctorates from both the Manhattan School of Music and Binghamton University. In 1997, the Prime Minister of Portugal awarded Elmar the country's highest civilian accolade, The Order of Santiago.

Photo by Tucker Densley

Oliveira has performed regularly at the most prestigious international concert venues. He has played with orchestras including the Boston Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the Zürich Tonhalle. He has also made extensive recital tours of North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East.

Oliveira’s discography on Artek, Angel, SONY Masterworks, Vox, Delos, IMP, Naxos, Ondine and Melodiya ranges widely from Bach and Vivaldi to the contemporary. His best-selling recording of the Rautavaara Violin Concerto with the Helsinki Philharmonic won a Cannes Classical Award and was chosen as Gramophone's “Editor's Choice”. He also received Grammy nominations for his recordings of both the Barber Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony and the Bloch and Benjamin Lees Violin Concertos under the baton of John McGlaughlin Williams.

Other recording highlights include the Brahms and Saint-Sae¨ns concertos with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony, the Joachim Concerto with the London Philharmonic, the complete Brahms sonatas with Jorge Federico Osorio and the rarely heard Respighi and Pizzetti sonatas with pianist Robert Koenig.

Two projects of particular historical significance are a CD book set released by violin dealers Bein & Fushi, with Oliveira showcasing thirty exquisite Stradivaris and Guarneri del Gesu´s, and then a CD of short pieces highlighting the Library of Congress Collection of rare violins on Biddulph Recordings.

Oliveira’s repertoire is hugely diverse. Admired for his performances of the established violin literature, he is also a much sought-after interpreter of music of our time. He has premiered works by contemporary composers including Morton Gould, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, Benjamin Lees, Andrzej Panufnik, Krysztof Penderecki, Charles Wuorinen and Joan Tower, who dedicated her Violin Concerto to him. He has also performed rarely heard works by composers including Ginastera, Joachim and Rautavaara.

Oliveira is passionate about expanding the role and repertoire of the violin as well as championing contemporary music and unjustly neglected works. He is a devoted teacher and promoter of young artists, and also keenly supports the art of contemporary violin and bow making. He is a Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida.