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Down With Yo-Yo Ma! Local Musician Up for Grammy

Most people, if nominated for a Grammy, would think it's Kind of a Big Deal.  Apparently, Elmar Oliveira is not most people. "Oh, I've been nominated two times before," chuckles the 58-year-old violinist.  Once for the same category -- Best Instrumental Soloist with an Orchestra -- and the other time.... well, he can't remember.  It would be nice to win, he says, but he''s on Artek Recordings and in general, awards go to artists on much bigger record labels that have more momentum. (Damn that Yo Yo Ma!)

Awards, schmawards -- Oliveira gets all the satisfaction he needs from his killer job. In addition to teaching part-time at Lynn University, he performs all over the world and has been to every continent except Africa!  The violinist says "it's considered a success to sell 6,000 records" -- but he earns eanough to have bought himself a multi-million-dollar violin ( His Guarneri del Gesu, he says, is worth two Stradivariuses!) and cribs in both New York and Florida.

More from the nominee after the jump, including a video of him in action.

It's not just the swag that makes his work so great, Oliveira says humbly: "To play the works of the great composers is a a gift that was given to me -- a wonderful, terribly inspiring, and uplifting life." 

The maestro doesn't know whether he'll attend the ceremony in LA on February 8 -- because he might have a show that night.  But if he ends up going, he promises to give us an update on all the backstage celebrity gossip.  There's just one hitch: Would Oliviera, who listens mostly to jazz, even know what Kanye West looks like?  "Probably not," he laughs.

Here is a video of Elmar going off on Tchaikovsky.

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Deirdra Funcheon

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