Prof. Henja Semmler

Henja Semmler studied violin with Rainer Kussmaul, Thomas Brandis, and Gerhard Schulz, among others, and received scholarships from DAAD and the Deutscher Musikinstrumentenfonds as well as prizes from the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, the Louis Spohr Competition, and the Deutscher Hochschulwettbewerb. She also studied Baroque violin and has a keen interest in contemporary music, which has led to participation in numerous premiere performances and collaborations with composers such as Jörg Widmann, Sofia Gubaidulina, George Benjamin, Heinz Holliger, Benjamin Yusupov, and Johannes Motschmann.

In 2006 Henja Semmler co-founded the Oberon Trio, with which she has performed in many of the world’s most prominent concert halls and festivals and recorded several CDs. With chamber music partners including Kolja Blacher, Renaud Capuçon, Tabea Zimmermann, Wolfram Christ, Jens-Peter Maintz, Natalia Gutman, Jörg Widmann, Christoph Prégardien, and Ian Bostridge, she has appeared at the Rheingau Musik Festival, Musikfest Berlin, Heidelberger Frühling, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and the Lucerne Festival.

Semmler gave her solo debut at the age of 17 in the Großer Saal of the Berlin Philharmonie. At the invitation of Claudio Abbado, she participated a number of times during the following years in the “Berliner Begegnungen” chamber music festival in the Kammermusiksaal of the Philharmonie and appeared as a soloist with the Staatskapelle Weimar and the Davos Festival Orchestra. As a founding member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, she has performed with the conductors Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, Bernard Haitink, Andris Nelsons, and Pierre Boulez.

Henja Semmler has served as guest concertmaster with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Resonanz, the Münchner Kammerorchester, and Kammerakademie Potsdam.

Teaching is an important part of Henja Semmler’s life. She taught at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock before accepting a violin professorship at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna in 2018. Since the winter semester of 2023/24, she has been a professor for violin at the Hochschule in Rostock. Semmler has taught numerous master classes and participated in the juries for international competitions.