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Remembering Oliveira

I enjoyed the article by Jan Jezioro on Elmar Oliveira (“Oliveira Returns,” Artvoice v8n37). I would like to share with your readers the history of another Elmar Oliveira event in Western New York.

In February of 1978, the Music Committee of the Clarence Concert Association met at my home to plan the 1978 program for the Clarence Summer Orchestra. Peggy Wincenc, wife of then music director Joseph Wincenc and a member of the music committee, suggested that we engage a wonderful young violinist named Elmar Oliveira to be soloist for one of our four summer concerts. She called him from my home that evening, and he agreed to play for us at the Clarence Town Park. A few months later, he went to Moscow and won the Tchaikovsky Competition.

To his great credit, he honored his commitment and came to Clarence to perform what I believe was his first concert after winning the competition. He played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Clarence Summer Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Wincenc. Of course the park was packed—thousands of Western New Yorkers came out to the Clarence Town Park to hear him, and he played beautifully.

I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Oliveira after the “brown bag” event at UB this past week, and he remembered fondly that 1978 performance.

Curtis F. Holm

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