Described as “radiant” and “expressive” (The New York Times) and “nothing less than gorgeous” (Memphis Commercial Appeal), cellist Karen Ouzounian approaches music-making with a deeply communicative and passionate spirit. Winner of the S&R Foundation's 2016 Washington Award and at home in diverse musical settings, she is especially drawn towards unusual collaborations and eclectic contemporary repertoire.
In addition to her work with the Aizuri Quartet, Karen performs around the globe with the Silkroad Ensemble, the Grammy award-winning group founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2000. Her commitment to adventurous repertoire and the collaborative process has led to her membership in the innovative chamber orchestras The Knights and A Far Cry, and the critically-acclaimed new music collective counter)induction.
Highlights of Karen’s recent and upcoming seasons include solo appearances with the Orlando Philharmonic, Greater Bridgeport Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago, recitals at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, chamber music at the Ravinia, Scrag Mountain Music and Portland Chamber Music Festivals and on tour with Musicians from Marlboro, and international tours with the Silkroad Ensemble, Mark Morris Dance Group, The Knights and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Additionally she has performed as guest principal of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.
Born to Armenian parents in Toronto, Karen holds Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where she was a student of Timothy Eddy. She resides in New York City with her husband, composer Lembit Beecher.