The son of Portuguese immigrants, Elmar Oliveira was born on June 28, 1950, in Naugatuck, Connecticut. 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 an honorary doctorate from Binghamton University and the Order of Santiago, Portugal’s highest civilian honor. He has served on the juries of some of the most prestigious violin competitions, including the Montreal, Indianapolis, Naumburg, and Vianna da Motta. Elmar Oliveira performs on an instrument known as the “Stretton”, made ca. 1729-30 by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, and on several other violins by outstanding contemporary makers, including Michael Koeberling and John Young. Before purchasing the Stretton in 1994, Oliveira owned and performed with the 1697 Molitor Stradivarius, which he purchased in 1989.
He remains the only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1978. He is also the first violinist to receive the coveted Avery Fisher Prize in 1983, in addition to capturing First Prizes at the Naumburg International Competition and the G.B. Dealey Competition.
He was a Grammy nominee for his 1990 CD of the Barber Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony. His recorded works for Artek, Angel, Sony Masterworks, Vox, Delos, IMP, Naxos, Ondine, Élan, and Melodiya range widely from works by Bach and Vivaldi to contemporary composers. His best-selling 1997 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.
- "Portuguese-Americans at (www.everyculture.com/)". Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- "violin by Antonio Stradivari, 1697 (Molitor)". Archived from the original on 2013-11-10.
- Elmar Oliveira's website, http://www.elmaroliveira.com/
- Answers.com biography, http://www.answers.com/topic/elmar-oliveira?cat=entertainment