Assistant Professor of Music Mark Olivieri awaits the premiere of his recently completed commissioned score for the 1920 Douglas Fairbanks silent film, “The Mark of Zorro.” Olivieri received the commission from LeMoyne College for the occasion of the Syracuse International Film Festival in collaboration with the Society for New Music. The hour and a half of music – scored for Pierrot Ensemble with percussion – will be performed live to the Fairbanks film at its premiere at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the historic Palace Theater in Syracuse, N.Y.
Olivieri writes about the process: “Writing music to be performed live for a film presents some specific difficulties. The tempi and synchronization with the scenes required challenging accuracy.” He explains that he “also had to consider how to write sections of music that could encapsulate a whole scene within less than a minute of music. Writing music in such small sections was a new experience.”
Ultimately, Olivieri enjoyed the “refreshing sense of professional growth afforded by the composing process” and that, “It’s a lot of fun to receive a commission that pushes you to think ‘outside the box!'”
During the summer of 2015, Olivieri received the European premiere of his piano trio, “D=RxT” at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and the Scandinavian premiere of his piano solo, “Spectacular Vernaculars” in Stockholm performed by acclaimed Colombian pianist, Andres Gomez Bravo. In addition, his Carnegie Hall debut was held this summer. Pianist Richard Steinbach performed Olivieri’s composition, “Hommage á Trois” for solo piano in June. His triple concerto, “Open Secrets,” for piano, viola and flute will premiere in Medellín, Colombia, in the spring of 2016. Olivieri is scheduled to travel to Richmond, Virginia, in mid-October to premiere his new work for flute and piano, “Appalachian Salsa.”
Olivieri joined the HWS faculty in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, a M.M. from Ithaca College Music Conservatory, and a B.M. from Heidelberg College. Prior to arriving at the Colleges, Olivieri served as Composer-in-Residence in the Department of Dance at The College at Brockport. He has played and composed for luminaries like the Jose Limon, Sean Curran, Doug Varone, and Smith Dance Companies.