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Vivienne Olive : Represented Artist

To compose is for Vivienne Olive first and foremost a personal experience, a way of expressing herself.

Random Audio Sample: The dream gardens (solo piano) by Vivienne Olive, from the CD Australian landscapes, English gardens...

Photo of Vivienne Olive

Vivienne Olive was born on 31st May 1950 in London, where she studied Piano, Organ, Harpsichord and Music Theory. She received her A.Mus.T.C.L. diploma from Trinity College London in 1968.

From 1968 to 1971 she studied for her Bachelor degree in music at the University of York. She then went on to postgraduate studies in composition, studying with Bernard Rands, Franco Donatoni, Roman Haubenstock–Ramati and Klaus Huber. She received her Ph. D. in composition from the University of York in 1975.

From 1976 to 1978 Olive also continued studying harpsichord with Stanislav Heller at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, and received a diploma in 1978. She has been awarded composition scholarships from the Department of Education and Science (1971–74) and the German Academic Exchange Service (1975–78).

Olive has received various prizes, including distinctions from the Bach Academy in Stuttgart for Stabat Mater, the town of Hamlyn (Hameln/Germany) for An English Suite, the 1998 Gedok – Leni Neuenschwander Prize for Gleichsam einem Garten, and the Stuttgart Composition Prize for Tomba di Bruno. Many of her works have been commissioned by soloists, chamber ensembles and radio stations, mainly in Germany, Great Britain and Australia. She has also published in the field of music theory (analyses, theory of harmony, editing), and has been a member of the board of directors of the 'Internationaler Arbeitskreis Frau und Musik' (Women in Music Germany) since 1995.

Since 1979 Olive has been a lecturer in Music Theory and Composition at the Hochschule fuer Musik, Nuremberg–Augsburg (formerly Meistersingerkonservatorium), Germany. Between 1993 and 1995 she was on leave of absence in Australia at the University of Ballarat and the James Cook University, Townsville, where she headed the University's Music Academy and also staged the music festival, 'Contempofest 94'.

In August / September 2005 she was 'Composer in Residence' in Bundanon, New South Wales, Australia.

To compose is for Vivienne Olive first and foremost a personal experience, a way of expressing herself. When asked in an interview what she thought about contemporary music being 'elitist' and only being accessible to a small group of experts, she answered that the listener can be reached on two levels: the intellectual one and the emotional one. The main point of her message is directed at the 'feelings surrounding the soul of her audience'.

Biography provided by the composer — current to November 2008

Teacher/Influence on

Rhonda Berry (1994)

Rhonda Berry

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
And the willows drowse and sleep (trios: flute, harp, viola) Commissioned by the Prometheus Trio, Nuremberg, Germany.
Sakura : chamber ensemble (2007) Commissioned by Trio 37
Music for tuba and orchestra : full orchestra (2002) Commissioned by Tatsuo Inada
Magnificat : soprano with ensemble (2002) Commissioned by Movimento.
And no birds sing (quartets: 4 pianos) (2001) Commissioned by London Piano Quartet.
Two German songs : soprano voice with piano (1997) Commissioned by Dorothee Plohs for Kulturladen, Nuremberg