In 2009, 18-year-old Jeffery Ou introduced himself to the music world by emerging as a Top 20 Semifinalist in the fourth season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” He was among the youngest contestants as well as the only classical musician, instrumentalist and East Asian participant to reach semifinals in the American spin on the “Got Talent” franchise that year. His performances drew worldwide attention.
The career of Taiwanese-American pianist Jeffery Ou (b. 1991) has taken him across 5 US states and 3 countries. Showing a remarkable disposition for music as a very young child, Jeffery began formal studies in piano at age 6, and excelled competitively in numerous events in Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee while still a teenager, where his performances were described as “very mature playing...” (North Texas Youth Music Competition, 2004); "utterly gripping in intensity" (Dallas Symphonic Festival, 2007); "...stunning playing on many levels" (Baylor-Waco Piano Competition, 2008); "very exciting...has a lot of flair as a performer and a real sense of visceral excitement" (Juanita Miller State Concerto Competition, 2009); "impressive...with much bravura and passion!" (Dallas Symphonic Festival, 2009); and "like a benediction" (Mu Phi Epsilon Concert Series, 2014).
In the summer of 2009, at the age of 18, Jeffery was launched onto the national stage when he competed on NBC's "America's Got Talent," then in its fourth season. He would advance to the Top 48 Quarterfinals and ultimately to the Top 20 Semifinals in Hollywood, performing for and becoming personally acquainted with celebrities including Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, David Hasselhoff, Nick Cannon, Chris Brown and Ashley Tisdale. Subsequently, this led Jeffery to receive the "Key to the City" award from the mayor of Balch Springs, Texas and the designation of "Jeffery Ou Day" from the mayor of his hometown of Carrollton (October 18, 2009), an invitation to appear on DIFFA 2010 (hosted by Queen Latifah at Winspear Opera House), as well as extensive news coverage from Carrollton Leader, Dallas Chinese Times, Dallas Morning News, NBC, Neighborsgo, University of North Texas News Service, UNT's "Counterpoint" Magazine, NextStep Magazine (where he was a 2009 ‘Superteen’ winner) and CCTV (China).
In extremely high demand as a collaborative pianist, Jeffery has worked with music programs in well over 30 schools across Texas the past several years, and has regularly performed in the Texas All-State Solo/Ensemble Contest in Austin and the McKinney ISD Honors Recitals. He recently completed 4 seasons as a featured recitalist in the Mu Phi Epsilon Concert Series in Dallas, and is frequently engaged as a performer with Serenata Strings and Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth. He has also taught masterclasses at the prestigious Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, has adjudicated for Texas All-State placement auditions for high school pianists, and served as a Reviewer for the first-ever Radda Rise International Piano Competition (2020), where he advised on participants’ entries prior to final submission to the competition jury. He was also a piano instructor at Winkids Sports and Learning Center (Flower Mound, Texas) and RBR Muzik (Irving, Texas). Recent performances have featured Jeffery as concerto soloist with the Shepton High School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in Plano, and the Mansfield Philharmonic Orchestra. His private instructors have included Wells Yi Wu (winner of the inaugural Esther Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, and Director of Piano Department at Shanghai Normal University), and Baya Kakouberi (Director of Blue Candlelight Music Series in Dallas). Jeffery maintains a very active solo and collaborative performing career, and is highly sought after as a respected teacher and performer throughout the North Texas metroplex and beyond.
Jeffery is a graduate of the world-renowned College of Music at the University of North Texas, where he completed a M.M. in Piano Performance under acclaimed Mexican-American concert pianist Gustavo Romero, and was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. As a UNT Emerald Eagle Scholar, he received his B.M. in Piano Performance under Dr. Steven Harlos in 2013. He also completed a Graduate Certificate in Piano Performance (2021) under Dr. John Solomons at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he held the Mary Frances Reel Memorial Scholarship and was a finalist in the university’s concerto competition. His collaborative piano training was done in Europe, where he is an alum of the American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz, Austria) and Sankt Goar International Music Academy (Germany). Jeffery has received numerous grants from organizations including Musicians Foundation and MusiCares, and has been a featured subject in VoyageDallas Magazine in 2020 and 2021. He was additionally a prize winner in the Charleston International Music Competition, the North American Virtuoso International Music Competition, the Milal Orchestra Summer Festival and Music&Stars Awards - all in 2021. Through his teachers, his artistic lineage directly traces to the traditions of Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin, and Ludwig van Beethoven.