Screening of “I am not a rock star” and recital

Possessing the talent of a prodigy can be both a blessing and a curse. At an age when most people are fumbling through adolescence, gifted young musician Marika Bournaki was already embarking on a prestigious career as a concert pianist. But was this wunderkind truly born to perform?

This intimate portrait follows Bournaki from age 12 to 20, documenting the growing pains experienced in these critical years, and the pressures heaped on her by a life of practice, performance and touring. Throughout, her father-turned-manager, a Juilliard-trained violinist himself, is devoted to encouraging her efforts and nurturing the international music career he was never able to achieve. When, at 16, Bournaki leaves her parents’ home in Montreal to study at Juilliard, she comes into her own as a musician, rebels against the course plotted out for her since the age of five, and experiences an intense period of self-discovery and growth.

Director Bobbi Jo Hart provides a rare and candid look inside the insular world of classical music, uncovering the elusive alchemy of talent, determination, sacrifice and luck required to make it to the top. We witness Bournaki mature from child prodigy to vivacious adult before our eyes, watch her incredible musical talent evolve, and feel the bittersweet sacrifice one family makes over time to help her become a star.

More information: Vancouver International Film festival official website

Benefit concert for Glenn Gould Foundation

“Astonishing maturity… Marika Bournaki displayed amazing refinement and poetry.”

- Thomas Beaujean, Aachener Zeitung

TORONTO (September 30, 2011) This November, twenty year-old Canadian musical sensation Marika Bournaki returns to Carnegie Hall to play a benefit recital for The Glenn Gould Foundation.

“We are proud to have worked with Marika on a number of exciting projects,” said Brian Levine, Executive Director of the Foundation. “Her first benefit recital for us in 2008 was such a spectacular success that we jumped at the opportunity when she offered to support us with another performance,” said Mr. Levine.

As part of its mission to extend the legacy of Glenn Gould, the Foundation recognizes and celebrates young artists of extraordinary promise, providing the kind of support that helped launch Gould’s meteoric rise. In 2007, Marika made a powerful impression on audiences when she opened the 18-month-long exhibition, Glenn Gould: The Sounds of Genius at the Canadian Museum of Civilization with a performance on Gould’s favourite Steinway piano. The event also marked the international celebration of the 75th anniversary of Gould’s birth. Marika’s New York debut in benefit of The Glenn Gould Foundation soon followed in 2008. She also performed in front of distinguished audiences at an event honouring the Eighth Glenn Gould Prize Jury, including the world-renowned dramatic tenor Ben Heppner, the late Academy-Award winning director, playwright and screenwriter Anthony Minghella, award-winning author Michael Ondaatje and famed composer, musicologist and broadcaster Peter Shickele.

Most recently, Marika performed for the Governor General of Canada at Ottawa’s Rideau Hall in a concert for young artists presented by The Glenn Gould Foundation, and she was introduced to Prime Minister Harper in his office in the Parliament Buildings.

The program this November in New York will feature Bach’s Partita no. 1 in tribute to Gould, as well as works by Beethoven, Schubert and Ravel in the intimate Weill Recital Hall. Gala tickets include cocktail reception and dinner in Rohatyn and Shorin Club rooms.

“We know that Marika’s recital will be an outstanding musical event that—thanks to her generosity—will benefit The Glenn Gould Foundation and help us continue our work to promote musical excellence and education,” said Mr. Levine.

On her relationship with The Glenn Gould Foundation, Marika said, “I feel honored and privileged to be associated once more with The Glenn Gould Foundation and with Gould’s constant search for musical creativity. As a young artist, I’m excited to help The Glenn Gould Foundation continue its mission to honour Glenn Gould’s spirit and transform lives through the power of music.”