Serge Ollive is a French composer, organist and conductor, who was born in 1977.
A "late" musician, he started to study music with organ in 1995, at the Conservatoire National de Région de Marseille (France) in the classes of Annick Chevalier-Naddéo and André Rossi. Between 1998 and 2000, he was awarded with several classical first prizes, including organ.
Serge Ollive was an organist at the Gap Cathedral (France) from
1997 to 2007. He played hundreds of concerts across France and
Europe, as a soloist and also within choirs or orchestras.
Afterwards, he studied orchestra conducting with Hungarian
maestro Jenö Rehak.
From 2003 to 2007 he was in charge of the musical direction of
the Alpes-Provence Youth Orchestra (France) with which he
contributed to gather both professional and non-professional
musicians together in ambitious productions such as Puccini’s
La Bohème, Mahler’s 1st Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem ...
He was also musical director of the vocal ensemble Cantabile,
in Gap (France), from 2005 to 2007.
In 2007, he moved to Budapest (Hungary), and improved in
orchestra conducting, by taking courses from major maestros such
as Uros Lajovic (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst,
Vienna, Austria), Leif Segerstam, Colin Metters, Michael Dittrich (Wiener
Symphoniker) ... and in the meanwhile, devoted himself more
intensively to the music composition.
Back home in 2010, he has since been working on several projects as either
a conductor or an organist, still with a predominant sense of creativity.
As a composer, also known under the pseudonym Paul Sterne, Serge Ollive has authored an important catalogue which can be classified into three different types: music "for concerts", evocative music, and numerous arrangements for organ and orchestrations.
His style – unclassifiable – is often thought to be influenced by a spectrum of various streams and intended to be set in a tonal language.
To some extent, his music can recall the language of the early part of the 20th century (“3 Rêveries” for orchestra, “Poème d'hiver” for viola and piano, “Caprice” for doublebass and piano ...), with variably brief intakes of more modern tones while alternating with more "classical" touches. These intakes may occur in the middle of a work, within the space of one or a few bars, or extend across a whole movement (as in the final Allegro Vivace of the 1st Divertimento, a movement that was entirely written in line with the classical and academic standards).
His works have lately marked a change from his previous productions by bringing along atmospheres of more modern tones. This is the case of “Delirium” Op. 32, a small piece that revels with polytonality, or “3 essais immobiles” for wind quintet, or “Lux” for 2 flutes.
Despite this, there's always a constant in his language: the use of melody, which seems to establish a "common background" to his work as a whole. Whether the melody is handled more or less in a "classical" way or not, its presence is almost always there.
It is also noteworthy that his language has nothing to do with “linear” progressivism. From his début productions in 1995 so far, Ollive's style cannot be called a bed of roses but a winding road in terms of constant twists and twirls throughout his works.
His style can greatly vary from one work to another, shuffling on and on until it gets back to any of the languages in use on a previous round... With or without any sense of logic as the process may first appear, Serge Ollive writes the music he can feel, when he can feel it. This way, spontaneity keeps fueling his engine, regardless of logic and order.
Serge Ollive's catalogue is partly published by Lighthouse Music Publications, and also by Editions Delatour.
Other parts are self-published under the label Waldhorn Editions.