the attempt to anchor oneself in time and to eloquently arrange surreal debris of a memory

Ruth Kemna is a young artist, experimenting with music, performance, circus and video.
Growing up on a horse farm in Western Germany she started playing the violin at an early age. In parallel she was doing a lot of sports - especially competing in 800m running, horse riding and creating performances with her sisters.
After 16 years she started also playing viola and became soon a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. Playing with artists like Sir Simon Rattle, Mario Venzago, Kyrill Petrenko, STING and doing a lot of tours everywhere in the world, the path seemed to be clear to become a concert violist. She started studying viola at the University of Music, Theatre and Media Hannover. There she became a member of the unconventional chamber ensemble „Orchester im Treppenhaus“ which now has been attracting attention for many years with unusual scenic concerts, performances and socio-political actions. She also started working in fields of theatre, contemporary dance and stage design.


She continued her viola studies at the University Mozarteum Salzburg and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her professors were Volker Jacobsen (Artemis Quartet) and Veronika Hagen-Di Ronza (Hagen Quartet) and she did masterclasses with Jean Sulem, Tatjana Masurenko, Thomas Riebl, Hartmut Rohde, Barbara Westphal and Garth Knox.
As a chamber musician, she played at numerous international festivals such as the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, the Podium Festival Esslingen, the Davos Festival, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele or the Heidelberger Frühling. She became the principal viola of the Hamburger Camerata and had a temporary contract with the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover. Currently she is in a trial for a viola position with the Klangforum Vienna.


Ruth Kemna develops her own choreographies and pieces and works regularly with dancers of the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, the London Contemporary Dance School and actors from the Thomas Bernhard Institute 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.
In 2017 she initiated the Serendip Festival for Music and Performance in Groznjan, Croatia. The next, third version will take place in summer 2022.
Since 2018 Ruth Kemna is accompanying the largest gymnastic show in Europe, the “Feuerwerk der Turnkunst” as a musician and circus performer. For the Tour 2021/22 she developed the storyline and is part of the creation team.
In January 2020 she was 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 and afterwards travelled through this country by playing viola in little villages and exchanging musical ideas.


She were part of the scholarship program “Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now“ which organizes free concerts for people in hospitals, retirement homes, orphanages, penal institutions, hospices or other social institutions.
Beside her musical studies 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.