Rufus Olivier

Area(s) of Expertise

Rufus Olivier is the principal bassoonist with the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet. At 21 years of age, he became a bassoonist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra before moving to his current positions with the Opera and Ballet. In addition to teaching at Stanford, Mr. Olivier is also instructor of bassoon at Mills College and Sonoma State University.

Mr. Olivier has been guest soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the United States, Japan, and France, premiered new works for the bassoon and was featured in live radio recitals in Los Angeles. He is a founding member of the Anchor Chamber Players, the Midsummer Mozart Orchestra, and the Stanford Woodwind Quintet. He has recorded many movie, video, CD and TV soundtracks including Disney’s Never Cry Wolf; San Francisco Opera’s Grammy nominated CD Orphee et Eurydice and won a Grammy for the soundtrack Elmo in Grouch land. In 2016 the ballet orchestra won 2 Grammys and has a CD at number one on Billboards classical chart.

Prior to arriving in the Bay Area, Mr. Olivier performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Neville Marriner, and the Goldofsky Opera Tours. He studied with David Briedenthal of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is on the music faculties of Stanford University, Azusa Pacific University and Mills College. In February 1993, Mayor Frank M. Jordon Awarded Mr. Olivier The Seal of The City and County of San Francisco, in recognition of his “Exemplary Accomplishment On The Occasion of Black History Month.” In February 2005, Rufus was the featured subject of the cover story in the International Musician, a publication that reaches musicians in the United States and Canada, as well as Europe. In 2005 Mr. Olivier received the Award of Merit from the United States Postal Service.