A native of Ramallah, Palestine, violinist Jenna Barghouti is a passionate musician and educator who has dedicated her life to advancing music in its many forms. She is currently a member of the first violin section in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Jenna picked up the violin for the very first time at the age of seven and began her studies at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in Ramallah. She performed in various ensembles in Palestine and abroad and was concertmaster of the Palestine Youth Orchestra (PYO) for many years. Her studies at the ESNCM propelled her to pursue a music degree abroad.
Jenna earned her undergraduate degree studying with Professor Mimi Zweig at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She continued her graduate studies at Indiana with Professor Jorja Fleezanis before moving to Houston, Texas to join the Houston Symphony in 2015. Jenna served as concertmaster of the Indiana University Philharmonic, Chamber, and University orchestras. She was also an associate instructor at Indiana University’s Pre-College String Academy, teaching students of all ages.
In her first year with the Houston Symphony, Jenna served as a community-embedded musician (CEM) in a newly founded program that aimed to better serve the musical needs of the diverse Houston community. As a CEM, Jenna split her time between performing on stage with the Houston Symphony and visiting schools, neighborhoods, community centers, early education centers, and health care settings, interacting with hundreds of students and patients. For the following three years, Jenna played in the symphony full time. After four years in Houston, Jenna auditioned for the Dallas Symphony and won a job in the first violin section. She moved to Dallas in the fall of 2019.
Upon moving to Dallas, Jenna established a private studio and currently teaches many students from various backgrounds and age groups. She is an avid educator and has spent the last ten years expanding her understanding of violin pedagogy. In 2019, she coached the first violin section of the Palestine Youth Orchestra. Jenna also formed a new string quartet with her Dallas Symphony colleagues and friends. The quartet has continued to rehearse and perform throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has recorded several pieces that were featured in online events by the Dallas Symphony in the past year.
The Dallas Symphony has managed to keep its doors open during the pandemic by taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of the musicians and the limited numbers of audience members. Jenna feels incredibly lucky to be a part of an organization that is going above and beyond to ensure that music can be played and enjoyed by the very diverse and vibrant Dallas community despite the ongoing pandemic.
Jenna hopes to visit Palestine very soon and continue her mission to give back to her home country that nurtured her talent and led her to where she is today.