• …a spectacular success…a triumph – Alex Varty in MUSICWORKS on PRESSED FOR TIME (sitar concerto with Mohamed Assani)

  • "…blown away by the John Oliver piece" [Traces performed by the Vaughan String Quartet, Edmonton, AB, April 2, 2016] - Dave Selsky

Oliver is among Canada's leading composers

of music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, opera, and electroacoustic media. Oliver’s music embraces a range of possibilities, resonating the past, and forging new associations that reflect our time and place.

New Release

Recent performance

Recent Recordings


3 Performances in one day!

I performed at two separate events, and attended a world premiere this past Saturday May 26.

Read more

Sound of Dragon Festival 2018 features two Oliver intercultural classics

Read more

Show more posts

  • I have started a page on Patreon.com that I am calling the Commissioning Collective. Please drop by. The idea is for my fans and supporters to contribute monthly amounts you can afford to enable me to write more music more often, when the opportunity or inspiration arises. In return, I'll have fun providing you with intimate videos of me improvising or developing new material in my studio, as well as discounts on recordings, scores, and other stuff, and you also get to message on the private, members-only Patreon message feed. Drop by and have a look at https://www.patreon.com/johnoliver

  • My new CD is out. Listen now and download on bandcamp where I get the best share of revenue. This is a collection of pieces based on granulating and remixing older orchestral and instrumental pieces, as well as some pure electroacoustic music creation: an evocative collection of mostly shorter works that are sometimes cinematic, reflective, satirical, meditative… Enjoy!

  • I finally have my own profile on Spotify. I used to be lumped in with the comedian, conductor, and country singer! Imagine this: my picture and biography; top track Pavane op.50 by the Boston-area conductor; related artists James Corden, Craig Ferguson and Woody Allen. "I" had a lot of followers though, hahahaha. So, now that I have my own profile, I'm down to 0 followers/listeners! So please come by, have a listen to a track or two and please follow me. You may be asked to create an account. It's free. With a free account, you have to listen to annoying very loud ads every couple of tunes, but I appreciate your support to get me visible in the thick of contemporary music tracks there. Thanks! Here's the link.

  • A multicultural creation of live music (erhu/Chinese violin, zheng/Chinese zither, vocals, percussion) and multimedia animated visuals that tell ancient astrological stories from Asia, Greece, and the First Nations. East meets West, and traditional cultures meet technology. Premieres of music by Oliver, Lan Tung and Stefan Smulovitz.

    More info
    Vancouver tickets, in person at Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 W 41st Ave. Vancouver), by phone 604-257-5111, or online http://musicoftheheavens.bpt.me/ $20 regular, $15 students/seniors/children

    “Could I ask you to explain the music of heaven for me?” “Sounding the ten thousand things differently, so each becomes itself according to itself alone—who could make such music?” — Chuang Tzu (369-286 BCE)

  • Come hear me create edgy soundscape improvisations with Vancouver clarinetist and composer François Houle this coming Wednesday night November 15, 9pm at the China Cloud, 524 Main St. Vancouver. Pictured is my instrument of choice! More info

  • Honoured and pleased with the standing ovation we received Monday night (Nov.5) at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra world premiere of PRESSED FOR TIME by Mohamed Assani and myself, performed with Mohamed on sitar and his longtime colleague Shabaz Hussain on tabla (pictured to my left and right respectively). We hope for a long life for this exciting and unique sitar concerto.

New Music

  • Plastic Ocean and Howl for François Houle and John Oliver duo. Premiere Nov. 15, China Cloud, Vancouver

  • Pressed for Time, a collaborative composition with Mohamed Assani for sitar, tabla, and full orchestra, premiered November 5, 2017 by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Bramwell Tovey; Shahbaz Hussain, tabla.

  • World Enigma 3 for (Chinese) sheng solo. Written for Vancouver musician Zhongxi Wu. Thanks to Zhongxi for the jianpu version!

  • Cool Take for computer musician. A suite of 7 pieces of cut-up jazz performed by the composer to a live audience.

  • Re-act-ion for one or more melodic instruments and computer

  • light ripple light for any melodic instrument and computer

  • Cool Cut for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra. Commissioned by Vancouver saxophonist Julia Nolan.

  • World Enigma 2 for solo cello (or viola) – commissioned by Richard Carswell

  • Flight 182 Meditations with Renée Saklikar, poet. A work for poet and computer processing

  • Shaking the Core for string quartet – commissioned by the Langley Community Music School

  • Scenes from an Intercultural Marriage for traditional Chinese Orchestra – commissioned by the Little Giant Chinese Orchestra

  • World Enigma 1 for erhu and piano for the PEP Project. – commissioned by Nicole Ge Li and Corey Hamm


  • Unity Songs for string quartet, electric guitar and sampled sounds. See Unitysong.net for details.

  • A song for Vancouver tenor Will George for voice, classical guitar and cello, based on If My Complaints Could Passions Move by 16th century composer John Dowland.

Upcoming Events

New Release

Recent performance

I recorded the above on iPhone 6 and enhanced it in studio.

Recent Recordings

web design by ed