Rufus Olivier

Principal Bassoon

Rufus Olivier


Rufus Olivier is the Principal Bassoonist with the San Francisco Ballet and the San Francisco Opera Orchestras. At 21 years of age he became a bassoonist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra before moving to his current positions with the Ballet and Opera.

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 Wind 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 Grouchland.

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. Jordan 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.