Robert Georde Oliveira

Robert Georde Oliveira

Birth
Fortuna, Humboldt County, California, USA
Death 16 Aug 1995 (aged 72)
Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA
Burial Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA
Memorial ID 14157712 · View Source
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One of Kern County's most respected musicians has died after a prolonged hospital stay. Choral conductor Robert Oliveira, 73, died at approximately 2 P.M. Wednesday at Mercy Hospital.
Oliveira had collapsed from a ruptured abdominal aorta during a dress rehearsal with his Symphony Singers on May 19. A close friend, Phyllis Hixon, said Oliveira's health deteriorated since that time.
"He just kept getting weaker," Hixon said.
Oliviera was born March 8, 1923, in Fortuna, the youngest son of John and Henrietta Oliveira. After attending area schools, he attended Humboldt State College, where he majored in the French horn. Oliviera was drafted into the Army in 1943 and served as a communications specialist in the Pacific theater of war.
After his tour of duty, Olivera completed his bachelor's degree in music. He studied conducting at the University of Southern California, then completed a master's degree in conducting at Columbia University in New York. From there he went to Paris, France, where he taught music at a U.S. Embassy school for 16 years.
During his stay in Paris, Oliveira studied or worked with some of the greatest names in the classical music world, including the legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger, composers Gabriel Faure and Francis Poulenc, opera singer Monserrat Caballe and flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. Oliveira was also one of the five founding conductors of the annual Festival de la Musique de St. Cere in Paris.
Oliveira came to Bakersfield in 1969, where he headed the choral music program and vocal studies at Bakersfield College until 1987. In addition to working with students in the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers, Oliveira created the BC College Chorale for singers from the community.
After a successful teaching and conducting career at BC, Oliveira retired from teaching, but not from music. He formed the Symphony singers, a semi-professional choir that operates under the auspices of the Bakersfield Symphony, giving three concerts a year, including the highly regarded annual Bach Festival.
"He was not afraid to challenge himself, his singers, his audiences," Hixon said in a statement prepared by a group of Oliveira's friends. "He was willing to take risks in performing little-know works, such as the last concert he conducted at the Southern California premiere of "Te Deum ," by Arvo Part.
"His constant saying was, 'All I ever want to do is make music,'" Hixon said.
Oliveira's work was always of a very high quality, injecting great passion into works ranging from the Renaissance to the modern era. He commanded tremendous loyalty among his colleagues, many of whom had sung for him for decades. He was an avid supporter of all artistic events. His Symphony singers literally became the Bach Festival for a few seasons, when funding forced cutbacks.
Oliveira is survived by his sisters Dorothy Flocchini and Belma Lee, both of the Fortuna area; and several nieces and nephews. A graveside service is planned for Friday at 2:30 P.M. at Hillcrest Memorial Park.
A farewell gathering will be held at 6:30 P.M. Saturday at his home, 653 Magnolia Ave. Hixon said it was Oliveira's wish that donations to local AIDS organizations be made in lieu of flowers.

Published in The Bakersfield California, Bakersfield, CA, Sunday, August 20, 1995 by Susan Scaffidi



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Cherysse Guilfoyle
  • Added: 3 May 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14157712
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Georde Oliveira (8 Mar 1923–16 Aug 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14157712, citing Hillcrest Memorial Park, Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .