Cellist Karen Basrak joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as associate principal cellist in 2001, served as acting principal cellist from 2002-05 and was recently awarded the principal cellist position. A native of the Chicago suburbs, she began her studies with Gilda Barston and Richard Hirschl. She received her Bachelor of Music in cello performance at the University of Southern California (USC), where she won the Gregor Piatigorsky Award and the Grand Prize in the Pasadena Young Artists Competition. Karen has also been awarded prizes in the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, Illinois Bell/WTTW Young Performers Competition, the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and the Julius Stulberg International Auditions. She was also invited to participate in the 2003 Gregor Piatigorsky Seminar in Los Angeles.
Karen has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the United States including the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Winnetka Chamber Orchestra, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Harper Symphony Orchestra, Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Westchester/Marina Del Rey Orchestra, American Youth Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the FWSO.