Ruth Kemna

Ruth Kemna


Ruth Kemna studied viola at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, at the University Mozarteum Salzburg and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her professors were Volker Jacobsen and Veronika Hagen-Di Ronza and she did masterclasses with Jean Sulem, Tatjana Masurenko, Thomas Riebl, Hartmut Rohde, Barbara Westphal and Garth Knox.

Experimenting with music, dance, circus, video and politics, she is especially interested in creating performances which are confronting the art of music with other art forms, unusual ways and places to explore the borders of language and their interfering lines with musical expressions, try to make visible social injustice, the exploitation and destruction western capitalist systems are causing by creating interdisciplinary, documentary but also abstract art.

As a chamber musician, she has played at numerous international festivals such as the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, the Fusion, the Podium Festival Esslingen, the Davos Festival or the Heidelberger Frühling. She was principal viola of the Hamburger Camerata and had a temporary contract with the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover. Ruth Kemna develops and directs her own theatre pieces, performances and choreographies and works regularly with dancers of the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, the London Contemporary Dance School and actors from the Thomas Bernhard Institut Salzburg. Her viola theatre play „Biography: reset oder auf der Suche nach Kylvirien“ was awarded the 2018 Award for Excellence by the University Mozarteum Salzburg as an innovative master’s degree.
She is a member of the Orchester im Treppenhaus which has been attracting attention for many years with unusual scenic concerts, performances and socio-political actions. Since 2017 she has initiated the Serendip Festival for Music and Performance in Groznjan, Croatia.

Since 2018 she accompanies the largest gymnastic show in Europe, the Feuerwerk der Turnkunst as a solo musician and circus performer. In February 2020 they were part of the postcolonial mine-oratory “Hercules de Lubumbashi“ in the DR Congo which is criticizing the exploitation of mine workers by big international companies.
She studied Applied Theatre at the Thomas Bernhard Institut at the University Mozarteum Salzburg and will continue her Contemporary Theatre Studies at The New School in New York. Currently she lives in Palermo to develop an intercultural, documentary performance dealing with the border between the European and African continent in the mediterranean sea. She has toured through many countries in Europe, China, South America, the DR Congo and South Africa.

Foto: Neda Navaee