John Oliver, composer

News Archive

World Premiere

The story behind COOL CUT

John Oliver’s new work Cool Cut is inspired by key compositions from the "cool jazz" period, specifically the landmark Miles Davis nonette recording BIRTH OF THE COOL (1954).

Come hear it performed by Julia Nolan and the Turning Point Ensemble.

Friday April 29, 7:30 pm
Saturday April 30, 2:30 pm

Telus Theatre at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
University of British Columbia 6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver Canada.

More info.

Read on for details about the inspiration for this new work.


Oliver new work with Cassius Khan October 4, Massey Theatre

GreatPairings

Shaking the Core string quartet commission celebrates Ian Hampton's 80th Birthday

Shaking the Core first page screenshot

The secret is out! A piece I’ve been working on since January, a secret birthday present for Vancouver cellist Ian Hampton in celebration of his 80th birthday, has been performed. Listen to the opening of the piece here:


World Premiere of "World Enigma 1" - PEP

The Piano and Erhu Project (PEP) is performing an evening concert to celebrate the release of their second CD of Canadian music commissioned especially for them.

PEP Vol. 2 CD Release Concert
Friday January 30, 8 pm
Roy Barnet Recital Hall,
UBC

Musique en quarts et en seizièmes de ton - Bruce Mather

Featuring the world premiere of Oliver’s Prelude and Fantasie No. 3 for 16th-of-tone piano, written for and dedicated to Bruce Mather.
Also music by Wyschnegradsky, Mather, Lemire, and Goodall

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 7:30pm (EST)
Conservatoire de musique de Montréal
4750 Henri Julien, Montreal, Quebec H2T 2C8

Tickets: $12 at the door

"Little Music Box" receives first performance, a work from 1981!

Screenshot 2014-10-13 21.53.41

My minimalist period from 1981-83 produced several works, the most famous of which is …like the sea at sunrise…. So imagine my surprise when the UBC Contemporary Players programmed my Little Music Box for their upcoming concerts this Friday Nov. 21 at 2:00pm at the Belkin Gallery


World Premiere, commissioned work, Little Giant Chinese Orchestra, Taipei, November 18

On November 18, the Little Giant Chamber Orchestra (Taiwan) will present the world premiere of the work they commissioned from John Oliver, Scenes from an Intercultural Marriage. The major work for traditional Chinese orchestra consists of four movements. The performance will take place at the National Concert Hall in downtown Taipei. The composer will be in attendance.

The program will also feature the world premiere of Oliver’s Monkey Running, a work that began as a workshop piece for the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble. This invigorating collage features a cowboy waltz, a sea shanty, some tango and flamenco, and other surprises, mixed in with the main theme. Oliver is guest guitarist.

Screenshot 2014-10-13 23.33.04

Oliver premiere: Gamelan Alligator Joy, June 20, Western Front

Oliver’s “Balonmix”, inspired by 6 bars of Balinese Gamelan music and originally written for a mix of non-gamelan instruments of the world (workshopped by the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra a few years ago) comes to Vancouver’s own Javanese gamelan Alligator Joy. The full press release is included below. Read More...

Children of Air India and conducting the BC Chinese Music Ensemble

John Oliver has been busy pursuing two quite different creative interests this past week. “I am creating a new poetic soundscape with BC poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar – a setting of the “Elegy” from her book length poem, Children of Air India (Nightwood Editions, 2013) about the bombing of Air India Flight 182 – and we’ll perform the work this Saturday night as part of the City of New Westminster’s NewWest LitFest. And Sunday night, I will conduct the BC Chinese Music Ensemble – my intercultural piece Eagle Flies to Mountain – at the Rothstein Theatre in Vancouver, a CD launch event.” --- Read More...

World Premiere of Eternity Gaze for erhu and piano

On December 6, 2013 at 8 pm,
Recital Hall, School of Music
6360 Memorial Road, UBC campus
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Vancouver audiences will hear the world premiere of the revised version of Eternity Gaze. The second (slow) movement is revised and a fourth movement has been added, making this a major opus for the combination of erhu and piano. Read More...

Nation Youth Orchestra of Canada harp students premiere "Trembling Aspen"

Harp students Antoine Malette-Chénier and Ellen Gibling premiered my composition Trembling Aspen on July 5, 2013 at the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall at Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Listen to the youtube video here (but realize that the audio is mono so you won’t hear the separation of the two instruments, which is one of the engaging aspects of the piece). Read More...

BC poet Renée Saklikar and Oliver collaborate - World Premiere at New West LitFest

Poet Renée Saklikar has teamed up with John Oliver to create new soundscape performances in real time. World premiere performances at New Westminster LitFest on Saturday April 13, 2013, 7 pm at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre at Douglas College, 700 Royal Ave., New Westminster, BC. Read More...

Nicole Ge Li / Corey Hamm Piano and Erhu project (PEP)

Erhu player Nicole Ge Li and pianist Corey Hamm have teamed up to commission a series of new works for erhu and piano. Go to Nicole’s web site to learn more. I am honoured to be among the composers she has commissioned. On November 24, Corey and Nicole invited me to perform with them (guitar) on their recital at the UBC Recital Hall where Vancouver audiences were treated to the first fruits of this collaboration, featuring World Premieres of three new works I wrote especially for this concert: a duo for piano and guitar, a duo for erhu and guitar, and a trio for erhu, guitar, and piano. Read More...

Meditation for Barbara Lieurance fall performances

American pianist Barbara Lieurance performs Oliver's "Meditation for Barbara", a work for bowed piano, in the Greater Boston area in 5 performance this summer and fall. See her web page here. Read More...