Harold Oliver has composed music that has received high praise from discerning musicians and listeners. Oliver was born in 1942, studied music and performed at an early age. He continued advanced studies at the Peabody Conservatory, the Yale School of Music, the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, and Princeton University and has studied with many distinguished American composers, including: Donald Martino, Mel Powell, Gunther Schuller and Milton Babbitt.
His works include chamber operas, cantatas, orchestral compositions, concertos, choral compositions, woodwind quintets, string quartets, works for percussion ensemble, and numerous other chamber and vocal works which have been performed throughout the United States and internationally. Oliver is the recipient of over thirty fellowships, grants and awards, including: the Berkshire Music Center, the Vermont Composer's Conference, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Music Center, Arts Councils in New York and New Jersey and Meet The Composer, and the League/ISCM.
His music has been published by Music Sales Corporation/G.Schirmer, Inc. (BMI), Carl Fischer Facsimile Editions (ASCAP), the Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Association for the Promotion of New Music (APNM-BMI). Oliver has taught composition and theory at Duke University, Queens College CUNY, Geneseo College SUNY, Southern Methodist University and is Professor of Composition/Theory at Rowan University , where he teaches composition, theory and directs the Contemporary Music Ensemble.