Olivia Chaikin


Photos 1 & 2 by Matt Dine; Photo 3 by Tom Jakob


Colorado College Summer Music Festival, 2022; Westside Chamber Players; Mannes Orchestra

Was there a teacher who was particularly impactful/helpful? What made this instructor stand out?

My teacher, Elizabeth Mann, has been my biggest inspiration since I first met her at a masterclass three years ago. Every lesson is packed with so much growth, musicianship, and incredible mentorship. She inspires me more and more every day!

What made you decide to become a musician? Was there a particular performance or person that influenced your decision?

It might sound cheesy, but I mostly knew the day my father took me to the local music store and bought me a rental flute! That was the most exciting day of my life.

How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply?

My teacher heard about a last-minute opening and encouraged me to apply!

What is your proudest achievement as a musician?

I was lucky to fill in at the last minute for Valerie Coleman at Lincoln Center and give the New York premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s new flute concerto with the Mannes Orchestra in March of 2023. I had to learn the concerto two days before the concert. It was an incredible experience, and I am very grateful that Valerie and Jennifer put their trust in me to deliver the premiere.

Can you share any memorable onstage mishaps?

In my first-ever band concert in middle school I got the hiccups for the entire concert. I think I was too excited. I never got the hiccups again on stage (knock on wood).

Do you have a favorite non-classical musician or band?

It’s hard to pick, but I always go back to The Doors, Simon and Garfunkel, and Jefferson Airplane.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

I would be working in television! I watched a lot of 30 Rock and Seinfeld growing up, and wanted to write for sitcoms when I was younger!

What advice would you give your younger self or anyone starting out?

I would remind my younger self to trust your gut and work hard.