Burak - profile

Burak Marlali

double bass

When and where was your first concert with the MCO? I think my first concert was in Ferrara, Italy in 2005.

What is your most memorable moment with the orchestra? There have been many memorable moments, but the concert in New York with Boulez was just unbelievable.

Can you tell us something about your instrument? It’s an Italian double bass made in the 18th Century, most probably in Naples.

The first piece of music you fell in love with: Dvořák’s symphony no. 9 “From the New World”.

What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO? Being there only for the music.


Burak Marlali was born in Ankara, Turkey, where he studied double bass at the State Conservatory. During his studies he participated in the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra and Schleswig Holstein Orchestral Academy. He continued his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and at the Staatliche Musikhochschule Freiburg.

He has been won several prizes, including for the British Council’s Young Musician of the Year competition in 1999, the Neerpelt European Music Festival competition in Belgium (chamber music), and the Brno International Double Bass Competition in the Czech Republic.

As a soloist, he has played with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, the Borusan Chamber Orchestra, and others. Burak has been principal double bass player of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra since 2009, and is a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Since 2014 he has also been principal double bass player of the Staatskapelle Berlin.

Burak makes guest appearances as principal double bass with many orchestras, including the Münchner Philharmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, West Eastern Divan Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. He has also played with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Concerto Köln, and was an Akademist at Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

Burak’s chamber music partners include Daniel Barenboim, András Schiff, Frans Helmerson, Alexander Melnikov and Fazil Say.