The British conductor Oliver Gilmour worked with Sir John Pritchard, Leonard Bernstein and Carlos Kleiber in his formative years. Gilmour’s collaboration with Gian Carlo Menotti began at the Spoleto Festival with Cosi fan Tutte. Subsequently, he conducted Montezuma and Le Nozze di Figaro (with Renee Fleming), both in the USA and Italy.
In an unprecedented move and in response to a petition by its singers and musicians, the Bulgarian State Opera successfully moved to seek an amendment to its National Law to name Gilmour their principal conductor. During the nineties, he conducted inter alia Il Travatore, La Traviata, Die Zauberflote, L’Italiana in Algeri and Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
Gilmour conducted twelve performances of Rigoletto in London and a Royal Opera House Gala Concert with singers Sir Thomas Allen and Marie McClaughlin. He subsequently conducted a prestigious tour in the Far East with the London Mozart Players to celebrate Mozart’s bicentenary. It was initiated at a Royal Gala concert in Bangkok and continued with several performances in other major cities.
In Taiwan he gave Masterclasses and made a commemorative CD of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3 in G and Flute Concerto in D. This recording features two major Asian soloists playing on traditional Chinese instruments. Gilmour and the English Sinfonia launched “Inside Music”- an ambitious project integrating educational objectives with performances of important classical repertoire.
Gilmour and composer David Bedford pro-actively engaged in a teaching program for children between seven and twelve years of age.
Oliver Gilmour chose to immerse himself in building and nurturing his orchestra in Bulgaria- the Sofia Symphony Orchestra. As Artistic Director he conducted a vast range of repertoire including Verdi’s Requiem, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, Mahler’s Ninth Symphony and most Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner symphonies.
Gilmour was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Sofia Music Academy in 2007 for “the highest possible level of musical achievement”. In May 2008, at the invitation of the United Nations, Gilmour became the first foreign conductor to perform in Baghdad since the U.S invasion, leading Iraq’s National Symphony Orchestra in an historic concert that “raised the roof” (almost literally, as there was a simultaneous rocket attack).
Most recently he initiated “Dubrovnik Summer Opera”, in a bid to bring opera back to the city after a forty year hiatus. The inaugural production for this was Mozart’s ‘Cosi fan tutte’ which opened ‘Dubrovnik Summer Festival 2013’ and for which he was highly praised, in particular in “Opera” magazine.