photo by Sara Everson

photo by Sara Everson


Olivia Shortt (irish and Anishinaabe from Nipissing First Nation) is a Toronto-based classical and contemporary saxophonist, administrator and teacher.

She performs regularly with Stereoscope Saxophone Duo. She has been involved in performances with Polaris Prize Winner, Tanya Tagaq at The Carlu, Nathan Phillips Square and Massey Hall in Toronto as a member of the Element Choir (under the direction of Christine Duncan).

Recent concerts have included a recital featuring Stereoscope in Sudbury, Ontario presented by 5-Penny New Music Concerts (under the direction of Robert Lemay) as well as a recording in early 2017 at the SnoLab (an underground science laboratory specializing in neutrino and dark matter physics in Sudbury, ON), performing in the DialecticaSaxophone Quartet at the X Avant XI Festival of New Music as the opening act for Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld.

Over the last two years, concerts have included Stereoscope featured as part of the Music Gallery’s Emergent Series in May 2017,  a performance in early summer of Julia Mermelstein’s RE:Connect in Ottawa with dancer Kathleen Leggasick (choreography by Sarah Hopkin) as well as a concert produced by Spectrum Music consisting of an all-star cast of Indigenous performers.

While participating in the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, she collaborated with composers Ben Wylie and Luis Fernando Sanchez Gooding, and performed in the premieres of their works in June 2015 at the Montreal Conservatory. In July of 2013, she was invited to be a fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival held in North Adams, MA at MASS MoCA. During her 3 weeks there she trained under members of the Bang on a Can All Stars as well as other faculty members and coaches from Eighth Blackbird and Alarm Will Sound. She performed in premieres of works by fellows Finola Merivale, Stephen Feighenbaum and Erik DeLuca as well as performed in recitals featuring the music of David Lang and Michael Gordon.

In 2011, as a member of the University of Toronto Saxophone Quartet, she performed Michael Colgrass’ “Urban Requiem” with the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble as a winner of the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition.

Olivia has performed with the Glenn Gould Studio’s Royal Conservatory Orchestra, the Heliconian Choir and Orchestra, the Excelsior Ensemble as well as participated in masterclasses with saxophonists Timothy McAllister (USA), Serge Bertocci (FR), Jean-Michel Goury (FR), and the Quasar saxophone quartet (CANADA). She works as a performer, teacher and clinician in Toronto, as well as throughout Ontario.

Her work as an arts administrator has her working as part of the organizational team of the Toronto Creative Music Lab. Previously she was an Administrator at the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance as well as an Artistic Producer with Spectrum Music.

She studied at the University of Toronto during her Bachelors of Music Performance degree and Advanced Certificate in Saxophone Performance, as well as during her Master’s in Performance. During her undergraduate studies, she was a recipient of the David and Marcia Beach Summer Study Award and studied with Jean-Marc Bouchard and Marie-Chantal Leclair in Montreal.