Olivia Hamilton


Photos by Matt Dine


Kennedy Center Honors Orchestra; Sphinx Symphony Orchestra; Princeton Symphony Orchestra; Classical Tahoe Clarinet Fellow; Chautauqua Music Festival, 2020–21; International Lyric Academy, Tarquinia, Italy, 2017; Selmer Clarinet Academy, Michigan State University, 2017; Rocky Ridge Music Festival, Estes Park, Colorado, 2016

What is your earliest memory of classical music?

My father habitually watched old western movies on the weekends and I was always fascinated by the sounds I would hear.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career?

In high school, I enjoyed watching communities come together to watch or participate in the arts, and I wanted to further explore that with a career in music.

Favorite memory from your time in TŌN

Playing Julia Perry, Florence Price, and Rachmaninoff under the leadership of Maestro Joseph Young was incredibly inspiring because I was able to play a program of composers who shared my gender and racial/ethnic identity while maintaining the integrity of their musicianship with Young’s vision of the works.

What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century?

I believe that orchestra concerts should be accessible to as many people as possible in the 21 st Century. That comes with physically bringing concerts to the community instead of all of them being in a concert hall, lower admission costs, and representation of the communities’ backgrounds in the works that are performed and the people performing them. We should also expand our use of technology to reach more people globally.

Favorite non-classical musician or band

Erykah Badu

If you could play another instrument, what would it be?

Cello or voice