The Olson/De Cari Duo, a husband-and-wife ensemble, is dedicated to expanding the repertoire for classical guitar and voice, deriving inspiration from their eclectic backgrounds in both science and the arts.
The Duo’s unique approach to song performance draws on Gioia’s expertise as both a classical singer and a theatre artist, and John’s diverse musical background and affinity for ensemble performance. Their innovative repertoire includes many pieces written for them, including compositions from their Science/Music Commissioning Project, which seeks to celebrate the science-informed worldview and illuminate the human side of science through song.
NYlon Review described their performance as “superb . . . served up with style and elegance,” and the Science Friday Initiative noted that “the Olson/De Cari Duo straddle science and art gloriously.”
Their new CD, Eve’s Diary, released in Fall 2018, features new compositions and arrangements commissioned by the Duo, including song cycles by David Leisner and Frank Wallace, arrangements of Jobim songs by João Luiz, and arrangements of theatre songs by Clarice Assad.
The Duo’s debut CD, Quiet Songs, featured the world premiere recording of David Leisner’s song cycle Outdoor Shadows, as well as the first American recordings of John W. Duarte’s Five Quiet Songs and his arrangements of Gershwin songs. According to Urban Guitar, “fresh interpretations . . . make this a CD worth listening to.”
Gioia is an award-winning writer and performer, and a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity, and the Dramatists Guild of America. She holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her play Truth Values: One Girl‘s Romp Through M.I.T.’s Male Math Maze, an autobiographical piece about her experiences as a woman in math, has become a national hit, touring to over fifty venues across the country.
John has served since 2007 as President of the New York City Classical Guitar Society. He has revitalized the organization and made it a thriving and central part of the city’s guitar community. He is also a member of the Guitar Foundation of America Board of Directors. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has performed scientific research for over two decades in academic and industrial settings.