Rufus Olivier

Principal Bassoon

Rufus Olivier


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

Olivier has been a 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, Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra, and 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 Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Neville Marriner, and Goldofsky Opera Tours. He has studied with David Briedenthal of 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 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 International Musician, a publication that reaches musicians in the United States, Canada, and Europe. That same year, Olivier received the Award of Merit from the United States Postal Service.