Oliver Chou studied music history at the University of Hawaii under Professors Daniel Kwok and Barbara Smith and obtained a PhD at HKU. He now divides his time and interests between academic work and music journalism.
He is currently a programme director on Arts, Design & Culture programmes and courses at HKU SPACE, a music columnist at Yazhou Zhoukan (Asiaweek), and a music critic at RTHK Radio 4. He also serves on advisory panels for the government and cultural institutions such as Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Allegro Singers.
He is the author of six books. Two of which, The History of Central Philharmonic Orchestra (1956-1996) and Music in a Bygone Era: Music in Hong Kong 1930s-1950s, were named one of 10 best books of the year upon publication in 2010 and 2017 respectively. There was a Mainland edition to both the Central Philharmonic book and the biography of Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra maestro Yan Huichang (2013). In 2014, he was invited to compile a Chinese/English account on the 40th anniversary of Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. The aforementioned Music in a Bygone Era was based on a grant he received from the HKADC in 2015.
In addition, he is a frequent guest speaker on music and history at tertiary institutions including HKU, Chinese University, HK Baptist University, Education University, as well as the Central Conservatory and the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
In 2010, he received a commendation from the Home Affairs Bureau for “making outstanding contributions to the development of arts and cultural activities.”