Marika Bournaki
  • Biography
  • Repertoire
  • Discography
  • Reviews
  • Itinerary
  • Schwarz & Bournaki
  • Media
John Novacek

Described as “the Celine Dion of classical” by The Huffington Post, MARIKA BOURNAKI is at once a world-class performer, dazzling pianist, vivacious young woman and one of the freshest faces on the classical music scene. Ms. Bournaki not only brings distinctive interpretations to favorite standards, but extends her passion for music by commissioning works from younger composers and collaborating with artists from various fields.

Marika Bournaki’s current season is highlighted by her debut with Colorado’s Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Elliot Moore, conducting.

Marika Bournaki has appeared as guest soloist with the symphony orchestras of Bozeman, Duluth Superior, Richmond, Roanoke, Springfield (MO), Topeka, Montréal and St. Petersburg (Russia), along with Maryland’s Chesapeake Orchestra, The SYMPHONIA (FL), Romania’s Timisoara Filharmonica, Switzerland’s Verbier Chamber Orchestra and Canada’s Orchestre Métropolitain and Sinfonia Toronto. In addition to a benefit recital for the Glenn Gould Foundation at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, she has been presented in solo recitals and chamber music collaborations throughout the United States, Canada and the world, including Belgium, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Switzerland and South Korea. Of special note was her survey of Beethoven’s complete 32-work piano sonata cycle, presented by the distinguished Bargemusic in Brooklyn.

A devoted chamber musician, Marika Bournaki performs regularly at Brooklyn’s Bargemusic, the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and the Frankly Music series in Milwaukee, while serving on the faculties of the Eastern Music Festival and Canada’s Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance. She tours internationally with duo partner cellist Julian Schwarz, and together won 1st prize in the 2016 Boulder International Chamber Music Competition’s “The Art of Duo.” Ms. Bournaki is also a member of the Mile-End Trio with Mr. Schwarz and violinist Jeffrey Multer.

The award-winning documentary “I am Not a Rock Star,” featuring Marika Bounaki and directed by Bobbi Jo Hart, has captivated international audiences of all ages. The feature-length film chronicles Ms. Bournaki’s evolution as an artist from the age of 12 to 20. A runaway success at multiple film festivals throughout the world, screenings of “I am Not a Rock Star” and solo performances were recently presented in Chicago, Dallas, Memphis, Miami, Napa Valley, Palm Springs, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as in Greece, México and Spain. The film has also been seen in Greece (ERT), The Netherlands (NTS), Norway (NRK), Sweden (SVT) the United Kingdom (BBC4), Australia (SBS) and New Zealand (Sky). The documentary is the recipient of awards for Best Arts Documentary and Best Editing from the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards.

Marika Bournaki’s innovative approach to her art and performance is reflected in a number of multimedia projects intended to reach out to new audiences. Additionally, her role as Ambassador to the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal’s summer event, “A Cool Classical Journey,” afforded new and stimulating ways to share her music with the public.

Marika Bournaki holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where her principal teachers were Yoheved Kaplinsky and Matti Raekallio. She and her husband, the renowned cellist Julian Schwarz, make their home in Virginia.



Concerto da Camera in c#, Op. 10, #2

BACH, J.C.                            

Concerto #4 in B-flat


Concerto in d, BWV 974
Concerto #5 in f, BWV 1056


Concerto #1 in C, Op. 15
Concerto #2 in B-flat, Op. 19
Concerto #2 in B-flat, Op. 19
Concerto #3 in c, Op. 37
Concerto #5 in E-flat, Op. 73 ("Emperor")
Concerto in C, Op. 56 ("Triple")


Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise, Op. 22
Concerto #1 in e, Op. 11
Concerto #2 in f, Op. 21


Nights in the Gardens of Spain


Concerto in F
Rhapsody in Blue


Concerto in a, Op. 16


Concerto in D, Hob. XVIII: 11


Concerto #9 in E-flat, K. 271
Concerto #17 in G, K. 453
Concerto #18 in B-flat, K. 456
Concerto #20 in d, K. 466
Concerto #21 in C, K. 467
Concerto #23 in A, K. 488
Concerto #24 in c, K. 491


Concerto #3 in C, Op. 26


Concerto #2 in c, Op. 18
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43


Concerto in G


Concerto in a, Op. 54


Concerto #1 in c, Op. 35


Concerto #1 in b-flat, Op. 23


BEETHOVEN  Piano Trio #1 in E-flat, Op. 1, #1
Piano Trio #3 in c, Op. 1, #3
Piano Trio #4 in D, Op. 70, #1 (“Ghost”)
Piano Trio #6 in B-flat, Op. 97 (“Archduke”)
Quintet in E-Flat for Piano & Winds, Op. 16
BRAHMS  Clarinet Trio in a, Op. 114
Piano Trio #1 in B, Op. 8
Piano Trio #3 in c, Op. 101
Piano Quartet #3 in c, Op. 60
Piano Quintet in f, Op. 34
DVORÁK   Piano Trio #3 in f, Op. 65
ELGAR Piano Quintet in a, Op. 84
ENGEL, Josef Freylachs (piano trio)
FAURÉ Piano Trio in d, Op. 120
Piano Quartet #1 in c, Op. 15
FRANCAIX   Quartet for Piano & 3 Clarinets
FRUCHT, P.   Music for Piano Trio
GLINKA   Trio pathétique in d for Clarinet, Bassoon & Piano
HAYDN   Piano Trio #27 in A-flat, Hob. XV:14
HIGDON Pale Yellow (piano trio)
HUBER, Hans Sextet in B-flat for Piano & Winds (1898)
KORNGOLD   Piano Quintet in E, Op. 15
KREIN, A. Elegie for Piano Trio
LIEBERMANN   Trio #1 for Flute, Cello & Piano
MENDELSSOHN   Piano Trio #1 in d, Op. 49
Piano Trio #2 in c, Op. 66
MILHAUD    Sonata for Flute, Clarinet, Oboe & Piano, Op. 47
MOZART    Piano Trio #4 in E, K. 542
Piano Quartet #1 in g, K. 478
Piano Quartet #2 in E-flat, K. 493
Quintet in E-flat for Piano & Winds, K. 452
POULENC   Trio for Oboe, Bassoon & Piano
Sextet for Piano & Woodwind Quintet
RAVEL   Piano Trio in a
ROUSSEL   Divertissement for Wind Quintet & Piano, Op. 6
SCHMITT   A Tour d’anches, Op. 97 (oboe, clarinet, bassoon, piano)
SCHOENFIELD   Café Music (piano trio)
SCHUBERT   Piano Trio #2 in E-flat, D. 929
Quintet in A, D. 667 (“Trout”)
SCHUMANN Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 47
Piano Quintet in E-flat, Op. 44
SHOSTAKOVICH   Piano Trio #2 in e, Op. 67
SMETANA   Piano Trio in g, Op. 15
STUTSCHEWSKY   Hassidic Fantasy for Clarinet Trio
Klezmer Wedding Music for Piano Trio
THEOFANIDIS   O Vis Aeternitatus for Piano Quintet
WEBER   Trio in g for Flute, Cello & Piano
Great Mozart Piano Work


Concerto in a, Op. 54 (audio and video)
Vladimir Lande/St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra
Variations on A-B-E-G-G, Op. 1
Widmung (arr. Liszt)
Arabeske in C, Op. 18

Great Mozart Piano Work


Canadian Screen Awards-winning documentary by Bobbi Jo Hall

Marika played the Mozart 466 with me this afternoon. It was an exceptional performance! As you know, I’ve played this concerto with some of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, and Marika’s performance was on a level with the greatest of them all. I simple cannot express the thrill I had listening to her and her exquisite Chopin encore. Everyone felt the same way about her performance. What a triumph - and with Mozart!

GERARD SCHWARZ. guest conductor
The SYMPHONIA (Boca Raton, FL)

I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your help in bringing Marika to Longmont. Her recital at our home was truly spectacular, and, of course, her performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 was simply awe-inspiring. Everyone here is so grateful to have experienced such remarkable talent, and we look forward to more collaborations with her and the other artists on your roster.

ELLIOT MOORE, Music Director
Longmont Symphony Orchestra (CO)

Right from the first bars of the Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, Schwarz brought out the storm and drama in the music with the principal themes spun in brisk strokes. Soloist Marika Bournaki exhibited a deft touch. Her runs were smoothly articulated and she played with impressive vitality. She displayed pounding power in the cadenza, leavened by nicely contrasted variety of dynamics and bold phrasing. Bournaki’s fleet rendition of the final Rondo was invigorating and Schwarz integrated the orchestral and keyboard lines, keeping the ensemble to the fore without overpowering the soloist.


Marika was a wonderful guest artist. Her Schumann performances, both the concerto and her encore of the Arabeske, were beautiful and elegant. She was a pleasure to work with in rehearsal, friendly and collaborative, and proved very reliable in concert. She charmed the orchestra and audience and was kind to participate in a pre-concert interview on stage with me.

Music & Executive Director
Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra (WA)

The Celine Dion of classical


Marika Bournaki dazzled the crowd.


The pianist Marika Bournaki, graceful and fiery, is fascinating. She kissed Schumann’s A minor Concerto with subtlety and vitality, navigating the piano’s pedals with her high-heels, her forehead furrowed in concentration, her eyes animated by flaming passion. Ms. Bournaki was applauded enthusiastically and, as an encore, gave us the Romance by Schumann, a piece full of melancholy and beauty, that was entirely to our heart’s content.

LE SOLEIL (Quebec City)

A performance of outstanding maturity


Marika channels Glenn Gould’s spirit like no other.

IDEA CITY (Toronto)

Her playing projects intensity and self-confidence.


Forget the Barbie doll in a glittering dress. Forget her young age. When she entered the stage, dressed in a black jacket and pants, her long blond hair simply thrown over her shoulders, we understood already that this young woman was there for the right reasons, with intense determination. Mozart [Concerto #23] seemed perfectly suited to her musical sensibility, especially the second movement. In her delicate touch and extreme care taken in her execution, we felt her soul. It was moving. Truly, there is something unique about her ability to create a long legato line, while articulating each matched pearl. When her fingers drew the melody, she was stringing a necklace of notes. We discovered this evening that Marika is a serious interpreter, who combines in her playing elegance and precision.

LE SOLEIL (Quebec City)

Marika Bournaki exuded passion all evening.

LA PRESSE (Montréal)

6/24/2023 (7:30pm)


Duo-Recital with Julian Schwarz, cellist
Korngold/Schwarz: Much Ado About Nothing Suite
Beethoven: Cello Sonata #3
Bloch: Méditation hébraïque
Poulenc: Cello Sonata
Chopin: Introduction & Polonaise brillante

8/20/2023 (4pm)


The Barge

Duo-Recital with Julian Schwarz, cellist

11/4/2023 (7:30pm)


Jonathan Pasternack, conductor
Port Angeles High School Auditorium

Schumann: Piano Concerto

2/14/2024 (7:15pm)


House Concert

2/17/2024 (7:30pm)


Elliot Moore, conductor
Vance Brand Civic Auditorium, Skyline High School Campus

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1

10/19/2024 (7:30pm)


Matthew Aubin, conductor
George E. Potter Center, Jackson College

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Mozart: Piano Concerto #20 in d, K. 466 (mvt. III: Rondo)

Sinfonia Toronto, Nurhan Arman, conductor

Kapustin: Concert Etude, Op. 40, #1 (“Prelude”)

Studio 12, Radio-Canada (Montréal)

Schumann: Variations on A-B-E-G-G, Op. 1

Studio 12, Radio-Canada (Montréal)

Schumann/Liszt: Widmung

Studio 12, Radio-Canada (Montréal)

J.S. Bach: English Suite #2 in a, BWV 807 (mvt. I: Prelude)

Marika Bournaki plays on Glenn Gould’s Piano
Canadian Museum of Civilization (Ottawa)

I Am Not a Rock Star 

movie trailer, produced by Adobe Productions