Oliver Hwa-Chow Hsu

Member of the board

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Hwa-Chow Oliver Hsu began studying cello at age 5 and piano at age 10 and won awards on both instruments in Austria's national "Jugend Musiziert" youth competition. After moving to the United States, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science with a minor in Music from Swarthmore College, where he was recipient of the Garrigues Music Scholarship and, as winner of the 2002 Swarthmore College Concerto Competition, performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the college orchestra. He also appeared as soloist in a performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto. Oliver subsequently earned a Master of Music degree from Mannes College of Music in 2007 with a double major in Cello Performance and Music Theory.

Oliver has studied cello with the late Martin Hornstein (Vienna Schubert Trio and Altenberg Trio), Vivian Barton, Deborah Reeder, and Paul Tobias; in addition, Oliver considers his studies with renowned theorist Carl Schachter and pianist Marcantonio Barone to be critical influences in his musical education.

Oliver now works as a software engineer but maintains an active music life. In addition to freelance work, he regularly plays with the Chelsea Symphony and also has served on the orchestra’s Board of Directors since 2010. In March of 2013, he performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the Chelsea Symphony, along with TCS violinist Amanda Lo. Oliver is also an avid chamber musician, and also undertakes the occasional foray into the contemporary singer/song-writer, jazz, and rock worlds, recently recording with the progressive rock band Hsu-nami. Additionally, Oliver served on the Cello and Theory faculty of the Bryn Mawr Conservatory in Bryn Mawr, PA from 2003 to 2011.

The son of two Taiwanese immigrants, Oliver is an active member in the local Taiwanese community and currently serves as the president of the Taiwanese American Association of New York. He is also a fanatic soccer player and a hopeless sucker for all things chocolate.