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 has become increasingly drawn towards unusual collaborations and eclectic contemporary repertoire.
In addition to her work with the Aizuri Quartet, Karen performs with Silkroad, the organization founded by Yo-Yo Ma to create music that engages difference. Her commitment to adventurous repertoire and the collaborative process has also led to her membership in the Grammy-nominated, self-conducted chamber orchestra 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 and Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago, international tours with Silkroad, Mark Morris Dance Group and The Knights, recitals at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, a tour of Japan with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and tours with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. 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 was a prizewinner at the 2012 Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank Competition. She holds Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where she was a student of Timothy Eddy.