Michael Ouzounian, Principal Viola
Michael Ouzounian was born in Detroit, where he studied with Ara Zerounian and Nathan Gordon, principal violist of the Detroit Symphony. Continuing studies with Abraham Skernick, principal violist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Mr. Ouzounian performed a wide range of operatic, symphonic, and chamber music in a student orchestra founded and conducted by James Levine at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 1972, at the age of 21, he joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as principal violist.
As guest artist at the Ravinia Festival for 18 summers, Mr. Ouzounian performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as a large repertoire of chamber music. In New York, he has been heard as chamber musician, and as soloist with the MET Orchestra in Strauss's Don Quixote (recorded by Deutsche Grammophon), and the Concertantes of Mozart and Bolcom at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Ouzounian has also served on the faculty of the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.