A versatile artist, cellist Carol Ou is known for her “fiery, marvelous” and “meltingly melodic outpourings” (Boston Globe) and her “wonderfully pure cello tone and incisive technique” (The Strad).
A founding member of the Buswell-Ou Duo, Ou often appears in solo, chamber music, and concerto performances with violinist James Buswell. As the cellist of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, she frequently tours all over the U.S., performing an eclectic mix of classical string quartet repertoire with many crossover genres of music. Ou has collaborated with celebrated artists such as Midori, Hillary Hahn, Kim Kashkashian, Timothy Eddy, Pascal Rogé, András Schiff, Raul Juarena, and Jayme Stone at the Marlboro Music Festival, Summerfest La Jolla, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Austin Chamber Music Center, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, and other noted music festivals.
At ease with the diverse music styles of the last five centuries, Ou regularly programs traditional European masterworks with more eclectic works in concert. She has recorded three of the most beloved cello concerti by Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Elgar, and premiered several new compositions written for her. She gave the first performance of Hsiao Tyzen's Cello Concerto in Taipei and collaborated with Hsiao on the premiere of a number of solo and chamber music works throughout the U.S. and Singapore. American composers such as Richard Toensing and the late Daniel Pinkham have also dedicated works to her. Other unusual works that she has performed include Tan Dun's Ghost Opera for string quartet and pipa, Peter Sculthorpe's string quartet with didjeridu, and Reza Vali’s Calligraphy No. 4 for string quartet and Persian santoor.
In the 2012–2013 season, in her new role as Carpe Diem String Quartet’s cellist, Ou has collaborated with the Latin Grammy winner and master of the bandoneon Raul Juarena in Piazzolla’s 4 Seasons of Buenos Aires. With banjo sensation Jayme Stone, she has performed repertoire as far ranging as Bach’s Art of the Fugue, West African praise songs, Bulgarian dances, and bluegrass fiddling music.
Since 2007, Ou has also been chamber music director of the Heifetz International Summer Music Institute in Wolfeboro, N.H. and Staunton, Va. In addition to her regular teaching duties, Carol Ou has traveled extensively to give cello and chamber music masterclasses in Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, Argentina, Ukraine, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, and throughout the U.S.
Ou's solo recordings are all issued by the Chi-Mei Foundation in Taiwan. Her chamber music recordings of the 20th-century repertoire can be found on the Naxos and CRI labels. Her recording of Walter Piston's Chamber Music, issued by Naxos, won the 2001 Chamber Music America Best Chamber Music CD award.
B.A., magna cum laude, Yale University. M.M., M.M.A., D.M.A., Yale School of Music. Studies with Ronald Leonard, Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot. Former faculty of Yale, MIT, Harvard University, Gordon College (director of strings, chamber music, and orchestral studies).