Ernesto Oliva

Rondosation Sextet for wind quintet and piano (2022)

Quintet of the Americas met Ernesto Oliva in Cuba in October 2019 while the Quintet was in Havana to perform for the International Contemporary Music Festival. Ernesto is an amazing pianist and composer who can move freely from classical to jazz. We asked him to write us a piece we could perform with him and plan to premiere it November 13, 2023 at the National Opera Center in Manhattan..

Ernesto Oliva is a pianist, composer and pedagogue who graduated from the University of the Arts of Cuba with a focus on composition in 2015 with a Gold Title, under the tutelage of maestro Juan Piñera. A creator who explores the limits between academic and popular creativity and makes contemporaneity and tradition coincide, Oliva has been recognized in dissimilar artistic spaces. He has received multiple recognitions, including the Musicalia Award granted by the University of the Arts of Cuba in the different categories of composition (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014); the Award at the Young Filmmakers Festival for Best Soundtrack (2011 and 2013); the Prize of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba in the Composition category (2014 and 2016), and the Conmutaciones and Ignacio Villa creation scholarships awarded by the Hermanos Saíz Association, becoming the only associate to have won both recognitions. His music has been presented at important events such as the Casa de las Américas Composition Award; the Arts Festival of the University of the Arts; the Changüí Festival, in Guantanamo; the A Tempo Festival with Caturla, in Villa Clara; the Vladimir Malakohv North Atlantic International Dance Competition, in Holguín; the Luis A. Calvo International Piano Festival, in Bucaramanga, Colombia; the Rheingau Musik Festival in Germany and the Nuova Consonanza Festival in Italy. 

As an interpreter, he has participated in the phonogram Pianos by the Cuban composer Beatriz Corona in 2018 and in the CD Lo nuestro by the Cuban double bassist Yelsy Heredia. The latter was premiered at the Colombian festivals Ajazzgo in Cali and the Medejazz Festival in Medellín, and in 2019 obtained a nomination in the category of best tropical music album at the Latin Grammy Awards. His works have been included in several Cuban phonographic productions. In 2010, the piece Maní con cacao was recorded by pianist Darío Martín for his debut album El álbum de la ciudad celeste, and in 2019, the Havana Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Daiana García, did the same with the work En Do pa´ que no na´ for the CD Todo ConCuerda mejor. That same year, his Toccata for the left hand Piñerccata was included in the CD Nueva música, a compilation of works awarded in UNEAC competitions. Ernesto Oliva has two record productions in his catalogue. The first, Sinco… pa´ Changüisa (Producciones Colibrí, 2019), is dedicated to the piano cycle of the same name, with a performance by pianist Lianne Vega. This album obtained two nominations in the Cubadisco 2019 award, in the categories of Soloist Concertante and Record Notes. His second album arrives in 2020 under the title of My village (Empresa de Grabaciones y Ediciones Musicale Cubadisco 2021 in the categories of First Work, Music Notes, Instrumental Music and Making Of. In addition, Ernesto Oliva is currently vice president of the Music Section of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and is a professor at the Faculty of Dance of the University of the Arts of Cuba and a professor of Piano at the National School of Music.