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CV / Biography




Having won both the Bernard Burrel Memorial Prize and the John Pollard Scholarship for Musical Performance on the alto saxophone at the age of 17, Oliver went on to study music at the University of Edinburgh where he won the Tovey Memorial Prize for Musical Performance, the first saxophonist to achieve this distinction.  As a result he was invited to play as a soloist with the Edinburgh University Chamber Orchestra.  He was also leader of the jazz orchestra for a Tartan Silk Production in the Edinburgh Festival. 


While at university, Oliver became increasingly involved in music education, becoming a visiting teacher at primary schools, a unit for young offenders a high security prison and Drake Project Scotland which works with physically and mentally handicapped adults and children.  This culminated with an invitation from the organisation Warchild to travel to Bosnia Herzegovina in March 1998 to work with children suffering from trauma caused by the Balkan war.


 In recognition of his achieving a 1st for his performance recital he was awarded a Buchar Scholarship from the University.  With this grant he took the opportunity to undertake a Masters in Saxophone Performance at the Montréal Conservatoire of Music under the guidance of Monsieur Claude Brisson, saxophonist with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra.  Whilst in Canada he played in masterclasses with Eugene Rousseau and Henri Pousseur as well as performing in the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and the International Jazz Festival.  He was also the runner up in the Reptigency Chamber Music Competition


On returning to Britain, Oliver spent a year performing classical and jazz saxophone throughout the Northwest of England, including leading productions of ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.  In 2003, Oliver was appointed Head of Music Technology in the Junior Department of Trinity College of Music, Greenwich where he is now lecturing on the Undergraduate and Masters Composition courses.


In 2005 Oliver commenced PhD studies in composition at Brunel University with Peter Wiegold and Richard Barrett, focusing on improvisation and live sound manipulation (max/msp) in composition and performance.  Recent compositions have included pieces for The Southbank Sinfonia, Piano Circus and Matthew Barley (cello) as well as the collaboration with Lawrence Herklots on ‘Einstein – The Musical’, received to critical acclaim upon première in 2007.  Oliver is also a published author of analysis for Naxos.