Professor David Oliver - Obituary

David OliverDavid Oliver

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of much loved flautist and Junior Trinity professor. David Oliver, who passed away suddenly at the beginning of December. Following is a summary of the highlights of David's musical achievements, which his family has asked us to share with you.

Professor David Bain Oliver - Flautist and Teacher 1972-2012

David Bain Oliver was born on 21 July 1972 in Edinburgh and died suddenly at his home in Gloucestershire over the first weekend of December 2012.  David was very proud to be Scottish and never forgot his ties to his birthplace, recently attending a school reunion in Selkirk.  As a Professor of Music, he was a world class musician and much respected and loved teacher of flute at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, formerly Trinity College of Music, London. David took his teaching duties very seriously. He had huge patience with his students and worried constantly about their progress. David was genuinely thrilled by the successes of his students, of which there are many.

David's recordings included 'Sound and Substance' and 'Time Entwined' on the Amalie Record Label and 'Complete Bolling!' on the Claudio Record Label. David was in the process of recording the Bolling Picnic and California Suites which remain unfinished. David expressed the opinion that he was arriving at what he hoped would be his most productive period and was looking forward to recording the canon of classical Flute music.

David was already winning major awards at the age of six, when he appeared at the Royal Albert Hall. His first recording was made at the age of 16, when he performed on a disc entitled 'The Selkirk Common Riding.' Best known for playing the flute, he was also an accomplished pianist and had once considered the trumpet as his main instrument.

Studying initially with David Nicholson (former principal flute, SCO) in Aberdeen, David then went on to become a scholar of the renowned Birmingham Conservatoire of Music in 1992. He worked with both Colin Lilley (CBSO) and Kevin Gowland (Opera North), graduating in 1996. He was a finalist in all major competitions during this time. He then furthered his studies with the acclaimed flautist Ann Cherry, for many years Professor of Flute at Trinity College of Music, London. During this period, he began to develop his individual style and emerge as a dynamic and innovative young performer.

David played with amazing tonal quality, with an amazing depth of sound.  His gift was to pass on his love for the flute to his students and throughout his career he has helped to create many talented young flautists. He enjoyed playing a wide variety of music but his passion always remained with the Baroque era.

An active recitalist, David premiered many works for flute, including a second commission from composer Raymond Head. The first was "Bridges for Angels" which premiered at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford in 2000. More recent works written for David included those by Paul Farrer and Peter Morris, both of which are featured on his previous disc, 'Time Entwined' with guitarist Roland Gallery. Both works were performed as world premières at a concert in Banbury, near where David lived and these performances were greeted with critical acclaim.

Following a successful collaboration in 2004 and again in 2011 with Richard Roderick Jones work for flute and piano Persephone Dances, David suggested to Richard that he write a work for flute and guitar. The original idea was for a set of miniatures but it soon became apparent to Richard that it was going to become a more substantial work. Inspired by a trip to Scotland in August of 2011, the Sonata began to take shape. It is a three movement work: (i) Allegro - Meno Mosso (ii) Poco Lento (iii) Brioso and was written and dedicated to David Oliver and guitarist Roland Gallery. The premiere took place on 20 June 2012, as part of the Shipston-on-Stour festival and has already become a welcome addition to the flute and guitar repertoire.

David appeared at many important British venues during his performing life as well as touring overseas. These include the Purcell Room, South Bank, London; The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London; Jacqueline du Pré Music Building and Holywell Music Room, Oxford; Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen; St Mary's and St Nicholas, Warwick. He worked alongsideSimonRattle, at the Birmingham Symphony Hall; appeared as a concerto soloist with Janet Hilton and Nicholas Kramer, and participated in interpreting their work with distinguished composers such as Boulez and Steve Reich. David had recorded two previous discs for the Amalie Record Label. 'Sound and Substance' featured a series of flute quartet pieces written by eminent English composers. He served on the council of the British Flute Society for five years, and was the Events Co-ordinator for two years. In addition to coaching, performing and recording he wrote music reviews for the daily national press. He can still be heard frequently on radio stations all across the globe. In 2011, he was a finalist in 'The People's Music Awards.' David Oliver was a flautist of international reputation, performing both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

He leaves behind his beloved sister Jan and both his adoring and proud parents. Hundreds of young 'would be' David Oliver's who were taught by him are already going forward to achieve the great things that his tragically early death means we will no longer be hearing from him. David Oliver leaves some truly wonderful recordings behind, which demonstrate the promise of what more we would have heard in future, had he lived to follow the path he was so surely walking.

Professor David Bain Oliver - Flautist and Teacher 1972 - 2012 

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