Buswell - Ou Duo
James Buswell, violin
James Buswell is a persuasive advocate, combining muscle, mellowness and musicality." Daily Telegraph review of James Buswell playing Walter Piston's Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2 for Naxos American Classics.
The American violinist James Buswell has enjoyed a distinguished career as concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, conductor, lecturer and educator.
Since his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of seven, he has appeared with most of the major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad and also with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, George Szell, William Steinberg, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Zubin Mehta, Andre Previn, Erich Leinsdorf, Seiji Ozawa and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Buswell studied at the Juilliard School, where he was a pupil of Ivan Galamian, and at Harvard University, where his major field of study was Renaissance Art. For more than a decade he was a professor of violin and conductor at the Indiana University School of Music. His instrument is a Leveque Stradivarius of 1720.
In 1987, Mr. Buswell and his family moved to Massachusetts, where his teaching activities are centred at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He is frequently engaged as an Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Professor, most recently at Harvard University and Amherst College.
He has performed nearly one hundred works for violin and orchestra spanning three centuries. Formerly a member of the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Centre, Mr. Buswell appears frequently as a guest artist at the Lincoln Centre and at other music festivals such as those in Santa Fe, Marlboro and Sarasota as well as events in Italy and Australia.
James Buswell is as closely associated with new music as he has been with the standard repertoire. World premiГЁre performances include works by Donald Erb, Charles Wourinen, Gian Carlo Menotti, Ned Rorem, Leon Kirchner, John Harbison, Gunther Schuller, William Bolcom, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Peter Schickele. Presently he is active in reviving lesser-known masterpieces from the 20th century by composers such as Martinu, Weill, Busoni and Respighi.
For Naxos American Classics, James Buswell has recorded Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2 by Walter Piston. The disc received unrivalled attention and undivided praise from the critical press, including the much sought-after accolades of Editor's Choice by Gramophone Magazine, a Rosette of excellence from the Penguin Guide and the ten point rating by Repertoire.
Violinist James Buswell taught at New England Conservatory from 1987 through 2014.
Buswell has performed as a solo violinist with virtually all of the major orchestras in North America, and throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia as well. In this capacity, he has appeared in over one hundred solo works for violin and orchestra.
His regular professional activities also include solo and chamber music recitals, conducting, teaching, lecturing, and writing. In recital, he is noted for adventuresome programming, regularly combining standard masterpieces with works off the beaten path.
Early in his career he was an artist-member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has played a large role in Buswell's life. He narrated and performed in a documentary for the PBS network entitled "The Stations of Bach," and also released a recording of the complete solo sonatas and partitas on the Centaur label.
Buswell is well known for championing new music, including neglected masterpieces from the 20th century. On the Naxos label, he recorded award-winning CDs of the Samuel Barber concerto and the concerti of Walter Piston and received a Grammy nomination for his recording of the Samuel Barber violin concerto. World premiere performances include works by Charles Wuorinen, Donald Erb, Ned Rorem, Leon Kirchner, John Harbison, and Yehudi Wyner.
Recent travels for concerts, masterclasses, and international competition adjudications have taken him to to Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Germany, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic.
Buswell's early training was at the Juilliard School where he was a pupil of Ivan Galamian, and he continued his studies at Harvard University where he majored in Renaissance Art.
The Juilliard School, Harvard University. Violin with Paul Stassevitch and Ivan Galamian. Former faculty of Indiana University. Former Artist-in-residence, Gordon College. Recordings on Centaur and Naxos.
Carol Ou, cello
A versatile artist, cellist Carol Ou is known for her “fiery, marvelous” and “meltingly melodic outpourings” (Boston Globe).
She has recorded three of the most beloved cello concerti by Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Elgar and premiered Hsiao Tyzen’s Cello Concerto in Taipei. Current recording projects include a CD of 20th century violin and cello duos and a CD set of Reza Vali’s solo cello, duo, and string quartet works. A Yale graduate, Carol has taught at the New England Conservatory of Music, Yale, and MIT. Her recording of Walter Piston’s Chamber Music won the 2001 Best Chamber Music CD award from Chamber Music America.
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).