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Percussionist Oliver Xu has been internationally recognized as a solo performer advocating for contemporary music. Based in New York City, he was awarded a Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant by The Juilliard School after graduating with his master’s degree. This season, he will perform at Carnegie Hall and teach in NYC public schools through his fellowship with Ensemble Connect. Oliver will also travel to Lucerne, Shanghai, Colorado, and Florida for additional performances.

In recent years, he has won the Percussive Arts Society Solo Artist Competition and the Great Plains International Marimba Competition. He has also received Third Prize at the Sixth IPEA International Percussion Competition and the Youth Jury Prize at the TROMP International Percussion Competition. In November of 2019, he was selected as one of six semi-finalists at the 74th Geneva International Music Competition. Oliver is proud to endorse Marimba One, Zildjian, and Black Swamp Percussion products.

Oliver was recently featured in concerto performances with the GRAMMY-winning Albany Symphony Orchestra of Viet Cuong’s work, Re(new)al. Other highlights from past seasons include the premiere of a new work by Ayanna Woods at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the New York premiere of Judd Greenstein’s percussion concerto, and solo recitals at Ithaca College and The Juilliard School.

A passionate chamber musician, Oliver gave the debut concert of Coriolis Duo alongside flutist Catherine Boyack at Tenri Cultural Institute in January 2023. In May 2022, he joined the Da Capo Chamber Players for a concert at Merkin Hall celebrating their 50th Anniversary. He has also performed with German percussionist Christian Benning at 1014 and the German Consulate General in NYC.

An in-demand freelance percussionist and timpanist, Oliver has performed in venues across NYC and New Jersey with groups such as the New York Classical Players and the New England Symphonic Ensemble. He has also been featured in performances at Alice Tully Hall on works by Steve Reich and Olivier Messiaen with the Juilliard Orchestra and AXIOM, respectively. He has worked with conductors Marin Alsop, David Robertson, John Adams, Barbara Hannigan, Tan Dun, Brad Lubman, and Mark Scatterday.

A dedicated teacher, Oliver has taught percussion ensemble and music courses including an elective on creative coding for Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program as a Teaching Fellow. He has also given masterclasses for the Eastman Online Percussion Festival, the University of Nebraska-Omaha percussion studio, and Fordham University’s Rose Hill Orchestra.

Oliver graduated from The Juilliard School with a Master of Music, where he studied with Daniel Druckman. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance as a Lois S. Rogers Scholar from the Eastman School for Music, where he studied with Michael Burritt. Oliver has a strong interest in non-western music, having studied mbira with Dr. Jennifer Kyker and mridangam with Dr. Rohan Krishnamurthy.

Oliver also received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Rochester as a Dual Degree student. He was awarded the Robert L. Wells Prize by the Hajim School of Engineering, which recognizes excellence in both engineering and humanities.

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