Professor works with Wynton Marsalis on London project
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida professor James Oliverio was on hand recently for the rehearsals and sold-out London premiere performances of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis’ “Swing Symphony,” featuring the combined forces of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the London Symphony conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
The piece was commissioned by an international consortium composed of the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Barbican Centre. The Barbican performances were a major capstone of the Cultural Olympiad, preceding the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Oliverio served as Marsalis’ orchestral consultant on the project, which was given its world premiere with the Berlin Philharmonic in June 2010 and subsequent performances by the other consortium members in the intervening seasons. For more about “Swing Symphony,” see a video at
Oliverio has collaborated with Marsalis on a number of large-scale projects over the last decade, including the full evening piece “All Rise,” a Millenium commission scored for symphony orchestra, jazz orchestra and large gospel choir that premiered at Avery Fisher Hall, and the ballet “Them Twos,” premiered by the New York City Ballet.
Previous Olympic-related work for Oliverio includes the Emmy Award-winning soundtrack for the film “Time and Dreams” and the special orchestral commission for the Atlanta Symphony titled “To Boldly Go,” which opened the Cultural Olympiad that led up to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.
His most recent orchestral composition “DYNASTY: Double Timpani Concerto” was premiered last season by the Atlanta Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra, featuring the Brothers Yancich as soloists.
Oliverio is professor of music and of digital arts and sciences at UF and has also served as the founding director of UF’s Digital Worlds Institute since 2001.