John Oliver, composer

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Shaking the Core string quartet commission celebrates Ian Hampton's 80th Birthday

Shaking the Core first page screenshot

The secret is out! A piece I’ve been working on since January, a secret birthday present for Vancouver cellist Ian Hampton in celebration of his 80th birthday, has been performed. Listen to the opening of the piece here:


Ian Hampton turned 80 and his Langley Community Music School held an event in his honour. The LCMS commissioned me to write a string quartet in celebration. The work, at just over 10 minutes in length, represents my first contribution to the string quartet repertoire since Traces in 1993. This augurs well. By the time I had finished this work, I realized I had material for a complete four-movement string quartet that will become, in due course, my first proper contribution to the string quartet legacy.

Ian Hampton is a renown cellist and teacher. He was a founding member of the Purcell String Quartet that commissioned much important contemporary Canadian music. Ian commissioned my 3 Trains for cello and piano many years ago, a signature work inspired by the trains that Ian hears near his home.

The event took place at the Langley Community Music School, Rose Gellert Hall, Saturday March 13, 2015. Shaking the Core was performed by faculty of the LCMS.