I have performed and taught the viola for many years, and I am more in love than ever with this exquisite art form. I love the way the vibrations course through my body and soul, and connect with others in the magical field of merging with others into one voice. I also love our literature and am inspired daily by living composers as well as those no longer with us.

I feel the most alive when my heart beats strongly using my animal self; moving, dancing, swimming, hiking…. Coming from a family of engineers, I am always fascinated by how the mechanics of movement work, and I enjoy helping people find their most efficient and authentic ways to express themselves, either on their instruments or through spontaneous dance.

Because I lived with a great deal of loss from an early age, I became a student of learning how to transform grief into lessons of living deeply and with joy. My own healing path has included necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), a bone marrow cancer diagnosis, (now in remission) and cardiac amyloidosis. While I might not have chosen these physical challenges, they certainly have been huge teachers for healing my own body and soul.

Karen Ritscher, based in New York City, currently teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, the New York University Steinhardt School, and the Chautauqua Institution. She is recognized internationally as a leading pedagogue, solo and chamber musician, and new music collaborator. The New York Times has cited her for her “superior musicianship.”

She has served on the faculties of many conservatories and universities, including the New England Conservatory of Music, Rice University Shepherd School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Boston University.

Karen Ritscher has been in love with the 5Rhythms® for twenty years and has been teaching them since 2011. Karen attended the last teacher training that developer Gabrielle Roth offered. In NYC, She offers classes at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, working with both staff and cancer patients. She is also in demand internationally as a clinician often combining 5Rhythms and music.

Banner photos: Beach photo by Boti Bliss | Karen with viola by Blair Hayes blairhayesphotography.com