About

Jenna Vergeynst is a Belgian harpist with a passion for new music, creation and music theatre. She has a background as a bioengineer and spent many happy young years in JNMYouth movement for Nature and Environment, where she gained a fascination for ecology and a great love for our non-human neighbours.

She is active as a freelancer in solo programmes, interdisciplinary projects, chamber music, ensembles and orchestras. Her main focus is contemporary music, including repertoire by Schafer, Berio, Maierhof, Aperghis, Saariaho, Edler-Copes, Van Parys and Henderickx. Together with harpist Marjolein Vernimmen, she forms the harp duo Vireo.

In her creative artistic practice, Jenna looks for ways to reconnect to the more-than-human through music and attempts to express the connection and interdependency between all living beings. She is co-founder of the Cusk Collective, a co-creation collective of performers and composers that translates scientific knowledge about non-human life and ecological issues to an artistic stage, through music, images, movement and performance.

Jenna obtained her master harp with Miriam Overlach with highest distinction in 2023. The same year, she received a first prize in the Collegium21 competition in Paris, as well as the Marius Constant prize and a special prize for the interpretation of Fidélité by Aperghis. She also received a Kranigsteiner stipendium award for interpretation of contemporary music at the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt.

Before her music studies, she studied bio-science engineering at Ghent University and did a PhD on fish migration. During that time, she followed harp lessons with Arielle Valibouse (Ghent) and Jennifer Swartz (Montréal, CA) and violin lessons with Olga Zolotareva (Ghent).

At a time when the world is facing grave ecological crises, yet seems unable to respond, perhaps the most urgent issue of all is finding a way to overcome our collective paralysis; and this means finding an alternative approach to the barrage of negative rhetoric which is causing so many of us to close our ears to the problem. […] The arts can play a major role in raising awareness of these issues, in expressing thoughts and feelings relating to them, and, most crucially, in helping us to conceive creative solutions.

– Jonathan Gilmurray in “Sounding the Alarm: An Introduction to Ecological Sound Art”