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Meet the Students: Oliver Talukder

Oliver Talukder is a member of the 2020 incoming class.

Oliver Talukder

Oliver Talukder, from Glenview, Ill., entered Curtis in 2020. An oboist, he studies with Richard Woodhams (Oboe ’68) of the Philadelphia Orchestra and previously studied with William Welter (Oboe ’16) of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Here Oliver details how the challenges of musicmaking and long-distance running have paid off for him in a big way.

What has been your most important musical experience until now?

I remember my younger self watching many videos on YouTube of amazing orchestras playing at the BBC Proms and thinking, “I’m going to perform there one day.” I can’t imagine how 12-year-old Oliver would have reacted to know that five years later he would be performing at the BBC Proms with NYO-USA! I was sitting in the Royal Albert Hall right before the start of the rehearsal looking at my surroundings and soaking it in—the seats, the acoustics, and of course the iconic ceiling lights. I suddenly became very emotional because I realized that all the hard sacrifices, the hours of practice, and the internal struggles of being a musician were finally paying off!


What was the last performance you participated in?

Over the summer, one of my friends organized a group so she could perform the senior solo she was unable to do with her school. There were two rehearsals, all with strict social-distancing and mask-wearing. The final result was a live-streamed and recorded concert of Koussevitsky’s double bass concerto. It was very refreshing to play live again without the worries of a backing track and metronome!


What were the highlights of Curtis’s online orientation?

The numerous social events that took place throughout the week were very interesting. It’s weird trying to get to know people and converse through Zoom where only one person can talk at a time. But nonetheless, I met a lot of people! 


What are you looking forward to most about attending Curtis?

I’m most looking forward to being surrounded by such amazing classmates and colleagues. I’m excited to learn from everyone while also contributing to the community in my unique way.


Are there any hobbies you’ve been able to focus on during quarantine?

With my newfound time, I was able to get into long distance running. I started off with a goal of running for 30 minutes without stopping and now I habitually run 10-mile stretches!