Praised for his "impassioned performance" (Boston Globe) and playing "with remarkable ease and clarity, while maintaining a graceful—if vociferous—line that fit well into the narrative" (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), cellist Sam Ou enjoys an active musical life in the Greater Boston area. A recipient of the Rosemary Scales Prize for best cello concerto performance at the Kingsville International Young Performers Competition, Ou has performed at several prestigious summer venues including Tanglewood, Sarasota, Musicorda, Santa Fe, and La Jolla music festivals. In 2012, he gave the world premiere performance of Larry Bell’s Cello Concerto entitled The Triumph of Lightness with the Boston Civic Symphony at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall (NEC). An avid chamber musician, Ou has collaborated and performed with the Borromeo String Quartet, James Buswell, Hung-Kuan Chen, Pi-Hsien Chen, James Dunham, Thomas Hill, Patricia McCarty, Paul Neubauer, Heiichiro Ohyama, Lois Shapiro, and Marcus Thompson. He performed Yehudi Wyner's Tanz and Maissele with violinist Lucy Chapman, clarinetist Bruce Creditor, and the Pulitzer prize-winning composer at the piano at The Center for Jewish History in New York.
Ou came to the United States from Taiwan at age 4, and began his cello studies at age 9. He has been a pupil of several renowned cello teachers, including Gretchen Geber, Eleanore Schoenfeld, and Aldo Parisot. After completing his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees in New York from Columbia University and The Juilliard School in their double degree program, Ou moved to Boston to study with Laurence Lesser at NEC, where he graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts. His dissertation was entitled In Felix's Footsteps: An Examination of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel's Approach to Her Chamber Music.
While a student at NEC, Ou founded the NEC String Trio, which won the NEC Honors Ensemble Competition, was featured on Boston’s WGBH radio station, and was the resident chamber ensemble at the Musicorda Music Festival. As a former member of the Huntington Piano Trio, he performed extensively throughout New England and traveled to Poland, giving concerts in Poznan and Zakopane. He has studied with several inspiring chamber music coaches including Toby Appel, Emanuel Ax, Neil Black, James Buswell, Earl Carlyss, Lucy Chapman, Norman Fischer, Felix Galimir, Christoph Henkel, Lewis Kaplan, and Emma Tahmisian.
In addition to being a prize recipient at the Kingsville International Young Performers Competition, Ou has also been awarded the Rome Festival Concerto Soloist Award, the Chi-Mei Music Scholarship from Taiwan, the ARTS Level II Award from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, and the Joseph Schuster Memorial Cello Scholarship from the Young Musicians' Foundation.
Ou has been a visiting lecturer, performer, and cello teacher at Fu-Jen University in Taiwan, where he conducted solo and chamber music master classes and performed with Fu-Jen faculty musicians. As a participant of Fu-Jen’s 18th Century Piano Literature Symposium and the International Strings Literature Symposium, he presented papers on the chamber music of Beethoven and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel. Ou has also coached undergraduate chamber ensembles and orchestral cello sectionals at Tufts University.
A faculty member and assistant string chairperson at NEC’s Preparatory School, Ou also maintains a private teaching studio, and in the summer, he teaches in Belmont, MA at Music on the Hill, a chamber music program for young musicians. During this past summer, he additionally taught at the Walnut Hill Music Festival in Natick, MA, Youth & Muse Music Festival at the Boston Conservatory, and Point Counterpoint in Leicester, VT. In 2012, Mr. Ou released his first CD, With String & Pipe, in which he collaborated with organist Harry Lyn Huff. He was also featured in Larry Bell’s CDs entitled In a Garden of Dreamers, where he collaborated with recorder player Aldo Abreu and harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa.