World-Renowned Organist to Perform in Indiana

Posted on 3/19/2012 9:47:56 AM
Hector Olivera

The Carol Teti Memorial Organ Scholarship Committee at IUP is pleased to present one of the world's most passionate, gifted, and unique musicians, Hector Olivera. He will perform a free organ recital at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2012.

The performance will be held at at Graystone Presbyterian Church, located on Church Street in Indiana.

Olivera's interpretations of both classical and popular music have amazed and delighted audiences around the world and have received astounding reviews. In a performance on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, Keillor commented that Olivera “literally stopped the show.” In a solo concert in Atlanta where he was invited to perform in celebration of the Olympic games, 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.”

Born in Buenos Aires, Olivera began playing the pipe organ at age three, was appointed organist of the Church of the Immaculate Conception at age five, and entered the Buenos Aires Conservatory at age six. By age nine, had composed a suite for oboe and string orchestra that was performed by the Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra.

Upon entering the University of Buenos Aires at age 12, he continued his training in harmony, counterpoint, and, most importantly, improvisation, attaining a level necessary to serve as the senior improvisational accompanist for the Collegium Musicum in Buenos Aires. By age 18, he had performed over 300 concerts throughout Latin America, appearing frequently on Argentinean radio and television.

Moving to the United States in 1965 to study at the Juilliard School of Music on a scholarship, he launched his professional concert career three years later when he won the National Improvisation Contest sponsored by the American Guild of Organists (AGO).

Since that time, Olivera has performed solo concerts throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia, and Central and Latin America and as guest soloist with prominent symphony orchestras worldwide.

Solo performances in the past decade include the 2002 American Guild of Organists national convention, where his transcription of Stravinsky’s “Firebird” Suite spontaneously brought the audience to their feet. He return to the AGO convention in 2004, when his performance garnered four standing ovations in 45 minutes by over 2,200 attendees. In 2007, he was invited to perform a solo concert at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris that was attended by an audience of 5,000.

This performance is in support of the Carol Teti Memorial Organ Scholarship Committee’s work in raising funds to award to deserving students studying organ at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Admision is free, but donations to the scholarship fund are gratefully accepted. If you would like to show support by attending the fund-raising dinner that precedes Maestro Olivera’s performance, please call 724-349-1996.

The Lively Arts