John Oliver composer

Press and People


Quotes from print and online publications

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

“His new recording of orchestral works, Forging Utopia (CMC 17612) makes it clear that Canada has a new voice, emerging full-blown to those of us who have never heard him.”
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

“…wonderfully creative music…”
–Lynn Bayley, Fanfare

"A tour de force of orchestral writing, this work is a delightful listening experience."
–Elaine Keillor, CAML Review on Forging Utopia

“a rip-roaring tour-de-force”
–Olivia Giovetti on Forging Utopia CD, WQXR “The New Canon”

“four powerful orchestral works”
–David Olds on Forging Utopia CD, The Wholenote

“Oliver at his considerable best”
–Ronald E. Grames on Unseen Rain, Fanfare

“I’m willing to bet that Oliver’s [Five-Ring] concerto, with or without the sports connection, is an Olympic legacy, not just an Olympic pièce d’occasion.”
–Vancouver Sun Music Critic David Gordon Duke on hearing the dress rehearsal for Oliver’s Five-ring Concerto.

"Both intellectually stimulating and a great deal of fun, Eagle Flies to Mountain deserves to become an intercultural standard."
The Georgia Straight.

"a delicate yet often complex sense of beauty" Musicworks

"Playful and stirring" –Mack Hagood, The Far East Audio Review.

"John Oliver's Icicle Blue Avalanche [is] one of the most viscerally dramatic discs I've heard in quite a while ... huge slabs of extremely solid music." –George Zahora,

"…an episode of Wild Kingdom interpreted by a klezmer band. Lots of fun."Vancouver Sun

"Guacamayo...a colorful, fascinating fantasia on Mayan legends." –The New Yorker

"Oliver is very skilled at controlling the colour of the instruments he writers for. Much food for thought, and for the ears." –The Globe and Mail

"…ingenious…superb…delightful...marvelous…””extraordinary sounds…"Victoria Times-Colonist

"…dramatic and emotional." –Ottawa Citizen

"a master of the guitar" –The Georgia Straight


Quotes from social media, email and other sources by fans, musicians…

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

John Oliver’s music is alive, vibrant, and exciting. His artistry and craft in composition challenges and delights the performers. - Saxophonist Julia Nolan

"I hope you ask John Oliver to write more trio work for you. His cycle was stunning!" - William Aide, pianist, on recent recording of Eternity Gaze for erhu, piano, and guitar by PEP.

Site updated 2023-09-09