The violinist/violist Mary Oliver was born in La Jolla, California. She completed her studies at the University of California, San Diego where she received her PhD for her research in the theory and practice of improvised music. Her work as a soloist and ensemble player encompasses both composed and improvised contemporary music.
Oliver has premiered works by a.o. John Cage, Chaya Czernowin, Brian Ferneyhough, George E. Lewis, and Iannis Xenakis and has worked alongside improvising musicians and dancers such as Han Bennink, Mark Dresser, Katie Duck, Cor Fuhler, Rozemarie Heggen, Joëlle Léandre, Thomas Lehn, George E. Lewis, Phil Minton, Alexander von Schlippenbach and Michael Schumacher.
Mary Oliver has appeared as a featured soloist in many music festivals like Brisbane Biennale, Donaueschinger Musiktage, MaerzMusik, Salzburger Festspiele, Berliner Jazz Festival and Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto Jazz Festivals.
Currently she lives in Amsterdam, where she works as a free-lance artist, teaches at the Hogeschol voor Kunsten Utrecht and is a member of Instant Composer’s Pool Orchestra, Magpie Music Dance Company and duo Oliver & Heggen.