As a guitarist, chamber musician and artist researcher, Jessica Kaiser works towards rethinking musical practice and developing innovative performances, through interweaving musical experimentation and critical reflection. Lately, her focus has been to deepen the understanding of ensemble interplay, as a complex expression of inter-human relationship and intersubjectivity.
Performances, lectures and residencies led her to festivals and symposia all over Europe and across South America and Asia. As a soloist, she has performed with orchestras in concert halls around the world, from the well-known Gewandhaus zu Leipzig or the Herkulessaal der Residenz in Munich, Germany, to Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary and Baku Philharmonic Hall in Aserbaijan. Further highlights include appearances at renowned festivals such as the Beethovenfest Bonn, Bodenseefestival, Mozartfest Augsburg, Gezeitenkonzerte Ostfriesland, steirischerherbst Graz, and Festival Internacional de Musica de Camara Monteleon, as well as collaborations with the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the Orchester im Treppenhaus and the Schallfeld Ensemble.
Jessica succeeded at various international competitions, e.g. at the Budapest International Guitar Competition (2017, Special Prize), the Anna Amalia Competition in Weimar (2009, First Prize) and the Andres Segovia Competition in Velbert (2011, Second Prize), and has been awarded grants by the charity Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now (since 2010), the Rotary Club (2010), the Neue Liszt Stiftung Weimar (2015) and the DAAD (2016/2017) and received the award for the advancement of the arts, granted by the city of Augsburg (2016). She was also featured in several radio and TV broadcasts in Germany and abroad.
Jessica understands her extensive chamber music practice as artistic research that aims towards high-toned interplay. This is most notably reflected in two longstanding and successful duo projects:
Founded in 2006, the critically acclaimed KAISER SCHMIDT Guitar Duo (with Jakob Schmidt) released their debut CD with AureaVox in 2017. They have been awarded numerous First, Second and Special Prizes at international competitions, e.g. in Stuttgart (2010) and Schweinfurt (2014).
Together with violinist Johanna Ruppert, Jessica is regularly performing as Duo Karuna. Since their debut in 2016, concerts have led them all across Europe. They were awarded the 1st prize at the North International Music Competition (2018), 3rd prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Braga, Portugal, as well as the 3rd prize at the 14th International Enrico Mercatali Competition in Gorizia, Italy (2017).
Jessica started her musical studies at the early age of 4. As a result of her consistent achievements with her former teacher Stefan Schmidt, she went on to study with Thomas Müller-Pering at the Franz Liszt School of Music in Weimar from 2011. In 2015, her Master studies led her at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, where she enjoyed the mentorship of Paolo Pegoraro.
Since 2018, Jessica has been pursuing her doctoral studies at the Doctoral School for Artistic Research at the University of the Arts Graz. In 2019, she joined the art factory baseCollective for a one-month artistic research residency at Adishakti Laboratory in Tamil Nadu, India. In 2020/2021, she acted as main organiser of the SONify! Festival of Music and Artistic Research. Her research was recently presented at leading international conferences, such as the European Platform for Artistic Research in Music EPARM (2023) and the Performance Studies Network PSN conference (2022), as well as published in the latest issue of the online journal Music & Practice (2023). From 2022-2023, Jessica acted as Executive Board Consultant at the Society for Artistic Research SAR. She currently holds a position as Research Assistant at the University of the Arts Graz.
Jessica is a D'Addario Artist since 2018.