John Oliver, guitar

…a master of the guitar… The Georgia Straight
Oliver’s students win Gold at RCM exams.

Oliver has performed as classical and electric guitarist in solo, chamber and orchestral settings with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Borealis String Quartet, François Houle, Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble, the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (Taiwan), and others, and has appeared at various music festivals in Canada, and the USA, and on the concert series of New Music Concerts, Vancouver New Music, Groundswell, Upstream, New Works Calgary, and Music in the Morning, among others.

Oliver teaches classical guitar, composition, musicianship and music theory from his home studio in New Westminster. Students come from Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey and other suburbs to study with him. Oliver studied classical guitar with Robert Jordan in Vancouver, and with George Sakellariou at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he performed in master classes with Michael Lorimer, Abel Carlevarro, Pepe Romero, Leo Brouwer, and others. A summer of private studies with British guitarist and composer Gilbert Biberian were crucial to Oliver’s musical development as guitarist and composer.

Since 1991, Oliver has pursued creative projects with electric, classical, and fretless guitars, computer and synthesizers. These projects developed into a solo "immersive sound" event by 2005, when Oliver was invited to present a Portrait Concert of his electroacoustic music by Réseaux des art médiatiques (Montréal). He now uses various special guitars whose sounds he transforms via various sound processing machines.

Oliver has composed a large number of works for guitar, including a guitar concerto, guitar duos, trios, quartets and solo works, as well as educational pieces.

Oliver is a member teacher and performer of the Vancouver Classic Guitar Society.

Selection of Guitar Music by John Oliver

Site updated 2023-09-09