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John Oliver

Born and raised in Vancouver, multiple-award-winning composer & performer John Oliver writes opera, orchestral, chamber & electroacoustic music, & performs chamber music as a guitarist. Oliver also performs his own special "immersive music" using special guitars & computer software that distributes the music through loudspeaker orchestras that surround the audience.

Oliver believes that music should resonate with the listener's intellect, emotions, and kinetic impulses. Master classes with I. Xenakis and Roger Reynolds, along with personal studies in perception, psychoacoustics, and social theory have contributed to this direction. Oliver’s formal training with John Adams, Stephen Chatman, John Rea, Bruce Mather, and Philippe Boesmans also contributed to Oliver’s formation. He holds a doctorate in composition from McGill University.

John Oliver came to international attention during 1988/89 when he won six prizes for five compositions ranging from chamber to orchestral to electroacoustic music. He won the Canada Council’s Grand Prize at the 8th CBC 8th National Competition for Young Composers for his live electronic work with tape, "El Reposo del Fuego." His electroacoustic music has been presented at many international festivals in Europe and the Americas. Oliver's "classical" music has been commissioned and performed by the Canadian Opera Company, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, the CBC Radio Orchestra, Vancouver New Music, the SMCQ, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, among others.

His music appears on CDs from empreintes DIGITALes, earsay, CBC Records, ZaDiscs, SNE and McGill University Records. A DVD-audio of his "immersive music" will be released in 2010 on the earsay label.


John Oliver, Composer

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Canadian Music Centre