Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: John Oliver

Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: John Oliver

Article excerpt

John Oliver, 78 years old, April 11, 2018, in Fairview Hospital, Great Barrington, Mass., after a long illness. Born in Teaneck, N.J., on June 4, 1939, he moved frequently as a child, thanks to his father's work for General Motors. He was introduced to the organ while attending parochial school in Wisconsin and soon began conducting church choirs. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame, then moved to New England, where he had a summer job as a singing waiter at a Cohasset restaurant. Oliver then studied choral conducting at New England Conservatory, working with Lorna Cooke deVaron. For a period he conducted the Framingham Choral Society; he also taught at MIT and Boston University.

Oliver founded Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Festival Chorus in 1970, requiring the roster of more than 300 volunteer singers to perform from memory, and led it until he retired in August 2015. …

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