Karen Marie Marmer is a Musician of New York.

Karen is a born-and-raised New Yorker and a violinist who has dedicated her life to playing 17th and 18th-century music on period instruments. As a freelancer, she performs with a variety of early music ensembles and orchestras. Karen also devotes much of her time to managing, co-directing, and performing with her longtime ensemble, REBEL Baroque, which she and violinist husband, Jörg-Michael Schwarz, started in 1991 while living in the Netherlands. Although it’s always a thrill to perform in New York, she notes that it has become increasingly difficult and expensive to launch a self-produced series in the city. That said, this dream remains her goal. Outside of music, Karen makes time for her interests in improv, performance art, poetry, and the healing arts.

“As a musician, your work is never done. You’re never really finished practicing and you’re never really finished with the work of managing an ensemble. Sometimes you get so involved in trying to make a living and balancing all the things you have to do, that one can easily forget why you’re doing this in the first place – for the love of playing music and giving something of great value to the audience. As long as I remember this I’m okay no matter what.” #MusiciansofNY

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#MusiciansofNY tells the stories of the working union musicians of New York, with posts about a new musician every Wednesday! Find more Musicians of New York stories here.