Player Spotlight ~ Marta Rymer ~ violinist,
dancer, singer, actress

Opus 327, “Kreisler” Guarneri, 1997

"My violin has been with me through many trials, as well as many wonderful occasions. She has responded so well, even to being played outdoors often, and after months of neglect. She always comes to life and responds beautifully to me. I can't imagine being where I am now with another instrument."

Marta Rymer

My parents met in the Symphony of Dominican Republic, where my mother played bassoon as part of her stint with the Peace Corps, and my father, a Dominican, played bass. They married and moved back to the United States, to Massachusetts, where my brother and I were born. We were raised in Dorchester, a tough part of Boston, where my mother has taught piano for 34 years. We were home schooled and raised to be good musicians, so music is in my blood.

I attended the Longy School of Music, in Cambridge, from the age of 4, and studied with Janet Packer, Lisa Lederer, George Ogata and others, and where I won the preparatory division concerto competition in 1999 and 2001. I was also a member of the honors string quartet, under Robert Koff.

I also grew up, musically, in Project STEP (string training for students of color) which nurtured me for the better part of twelve years. I was a member of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at New England Conservatory when I decided to take a break from violin and study what really interested me at the time, musical theatre.

After completing a two-year program at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, I came back to Boston and began working on the renaissance festival circuit. I performed at King Richard's Faire, singing, dancing, acting, and playing violin as a gypsy, wench, sorceress, and vampire countess. What fun! That led to work at other festivals as a choreographer and performer. I got to travel to exotic and exciting places such as St Louis, Missouri, Deerfield Beach in Florida, and Battle Creek, Michigan.

It was at King Richard's Faire that I met Grace Morrison, a local singer/songwriter. I now work with her on a regular basis in our group Grace Morrison and the RSO, a folk/rock band. (A word I still find strange to say.) I'm learning to improvise, which has always been difficult for me. I'm starting to get used to playing into a mic, but I still don't get the concept of people having conversations in bars while musicians are performing.

My violin teacher, Janet Packer, is a huge supporter of Doug Cox. She brought me to him in 1999 to pick out my lovely violin. As much as I love music and playing my violin, it certainly isn't all that I do. I'm a trained ballet dancer, singer, and actress. I still spend a lot of time doing various shows and performances around New England.

Return to Player Archive