Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit? -Gabrielle Roth

Concert Violist

Karen Ritscher’s passion for creativity through connection lights up her dual paths as musician and conscious movement teacher. As a concert violist, she has performed throughout the world with some of the most important musicians of our times. She was a member of the Aureus Piano Quartet and Steve Reich Musicians. She was Principal Violist of the Houston Grand Opera and the Dallas Opera. She has toured and recorded with such groups as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, Houston Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Equally at home with popular as well as classical genres of music, she has appeared with a variety of artists from Leonard Bernstein and YoYo Ma to Michael Jackson and Sting.

Viola Pedagogue

A natural teacher, Karen has always found joy in sharing her learning with others. She began teaching the viola when she was nineteen and continues to teach today in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music and New York University, and in the summer at the Chautauqua Institution. She also is a frequent guest clinician at viola conferences throughout the world. Her students enjoy successful careers as soloists, quartet violists, professors and orchestral players. Karen studied with Karen Tuttle, Martha Strongin Katz, Michael Tree, Joyce Robbins and Heidi Castleman. Her teaching is also influenced by her years of chamber music study with Donald Weilerstein.

Conscious Movement Teacher

Karen was chosen by Gabrielle Roth to be in her last 5Rhythms® teacher training. Karen has danced the 5Rhythms® since the mid nineties and was fortunate to study extensively with both Gabrielle and her son Jonathan Horan. Today, she carries on Gabrielle’s dream of bringing the 5Rhythms® Movement Meditation Practice to underserved communities.
Karen leads a weekly class, Rhythm Body at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. She also works regularly with the Alzheimer’s Group at the Stein Center (“Dancing with Dementia”), the BOLD program at Montefiore Hospital for people living with cancer and at Healing Loss Workshops for Caregivers at Stony Point Retreat Center, led by Peter Selwyn of Montefiore Hospital.
Often in her classes and workshops, she is able to combine her gifts as a sound healer through viola with her skills as a movement facilitator.

Viola Shaman

Karen is excited to help people connect with their deepest truths, whether through music making or consciousc movement. She is fascinated by the creative process and loves witnessing people move from their essence.

She is often referred to as the “Viola Shaman,” since she opens up her students to what is possible and helps them manifest their dreams into reality.