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Our 2023 Season is dedicated to the memory of Karen Marie Marmer

founder, violinist & manager of REBEL, Ensemble for Baroque Music

Karen Marie Marmer
Karen Marie Marmer 
violin & viola

KAREN MARIE MARMER studied violin at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College with Israel Chorberg and Ruth Waterman and at the Yale School of Music with Syoko Aki. Her baroque violin studies were with Jaap Schroeder at Yale, Marilyn MacDonald at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin and with Lucy van Dael at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.


Praised for her playing as “subtle and supple” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) and as posessing “great temperament and color” (St. Paul Pioneer Press), her international career has included collaborations with Capriccio Stravagante (Paris), the Nederlandse Bach Vereniging (The Netherlands), Ensemble Baroque de Mateus (Portugal), the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), Les Idées Heureuses (Montréal) and the American Bach Soloists in San Francisco. She has served as a principal player of the New York Collegium, American Classical Orchestra and the Grande Bande in New York, as well as the Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra for which she served as co-concertmaster from 1991-96. In 2010 Ms. Marmer served as guest concertmaster of the venerable Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity series in New York City in a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion. She has performed under the batons of Ton Koopman, Frans Brüggen, William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Reinhard Goebel, Frieder Bernius and Gustav Leonhardt, among others, and has concertized throughout Europe with Marie Leonhardt.


With REBEL, Ms. Marmer concertizes extensively in Europe and North America, and has recorded for most major European radio stations as well as National Public Radio in the U.S. She has been heard at early music festivals in Boston, Berkeley, Utrecht, Bruges, Halle, Regensburg, Herne, Stuttgart, Göttingen, Vienna and Ambronay (France). Her recording credits include Vox Classics, PGM, Chesky, Koch International, ATMA Classique, Hänssler Classics, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Bridge Records and Dorian Recordings.

While at Yale, Ms. Marmer was the artistic director and producer of an innovative series of chamber music concerts which brought together students from the undergraduate, graduate and alumni sectors. In the year 2000, Ms. Marmer founded the Westchester, New York-based chamber music series, MUSICA ANTIQUA NOVA, of which she has been producer since its inception. In addition to her duties as REBEL’s manager and publicist, as a passionate cultural advocate she has served on the adjudicating panels of the Westchester Arts Council and the New York State Council on the Arts. In Spring 2008, Ms. Marmer was awarded the John Castellini Silver Jubilee Award for distinguished alumna from her alma mater, the Aaron Copland School of Music. Ms. Marmer is also artistic director of the ensemble, Tableau Vivant and co-director of Black Marble Duo along with her husband, violinist Jörg-Michael Schwarz.


Alongside music, Ms. Marmer’s interests include performance art, poetry, acting, environmental and historic preservation, the diverse spiritual traditions of the world and mysticism, with a special focus on the Kabbalah. She is trained in several healing modalities and is a certified instructor of Laughter Yoga.  

“The repertoire we play is amazing, and the music making in this ensemble is phenomenally intuitive and effortless. On top of that we are all good friends….it is all a great joy for me, and the joy we feel together as a group, I am sure, extends well past the edge of the stage."

- Karen Marie Marmer

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