Robert Olivia is a clarinetist and arranger and the Associate Principal Orchestra Librarian of the Seattle Symphony. Previously Olivia has been Librarian for the orchestras of Boston, Oregon, Naples and Detroit and New York Philharmonic.
In addition to his symphonic work Olivia has worked in Hollywood on more than one hundred motion pictures including Revenge of the Sith and Memoirs of a Geisha with John Williams and other composers of films such as Meet the Fockers, Sin City, Flight of the Phoenix, War of the Worlds, Polar Express, Elektra, The Interpreter, World's Fastest Indian among others. He has also worked on many episodes of King of the Hill, The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad.
Olivia has written arrangements for many artists including Doc Severinsen, Frederica von Stade and Samuel Ramey. He has collaborated with publishers on several critical editions including most recently with Schott on their new printing of Anton Webern’s Deutche Tänze. Works awaiting publication include Prelude, Fugue and Riffs by Leonard Bernstein and the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto.
As a clarinetist Olivia was winner of the 1993 Artists’ International Competition and made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut the following year. He continues to perform and also serves as an extra with the Seattle Symphony.
In 2006, Olivia was chosen as a “mentor and supervisor” as part of the University of Washington Information School Directed Fieldwork Program. With the assistance of participating graduate students, Olivia authored an archival exhibit and DVD of rare Seattle Symphony Library manuscripts, photos and news clippings, giving the public the first ever access to the Permanent Collection. Subsequently, Olivia created a public website devoted to providing the public access to the orchestra library as well as a unique SharePoint site devoted to providing information to the players.
Olivia is a member of Los Angeles Local 47 and member of the Major Orchestra Librarians Association.
When not performing, writing or in the library Olivia enjoys fly fishing and classic cars including his 1964 Buick Wildcat.