Back to Top

Ronit is an innovative, versatile violinist known for her virtuosity, imagination, continually expanding stylistic palette and sonic range. She performs and records internationally in many contexts, including free improvisation, classical, live electronica, rock, pop, jazz, world, blues and country.

Ronit began playing at the age of four and has been trained by some of the finest musicians in the world, including her violin teachers Erick Friedman (the protegé of Jascha Heifetz) and Zvi Zeitlin. Ronit's formative years were infused with a rich repertoire and high technical standards. She played in many orchestras, chamber groups and solo recitals at Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall and Yale University. After completing her undergraduate work, Ronit became increasingly active in a wide variety of approaches to music-making, playing in rock, blues, and country bands and studying electronic music, audio engineering, sound design, jazz theory and various styles of guitar playing. In graduate school at CalArts, Ronit began to perform with live audio and visual electronics as well. She dove into creative improvisation, and studied tabla, sargam and hand drumming. She enjoyed exposure to many musical traditions, including West African music and dance, gamelan and Balinese dance, Latin rhythms, Brazilian songs, and more.

Ronit has had the pleasure of working with many esteemed improvisers including Torsten Müller, Anne LeBaron, Nels Cline, Fred Frith, Bertram Turetzky, Wolfgang Fuchs, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Pat Thomas, John Edwards, Philipp Wachsmann, Wadada Leo Smith, Adam Rudolph and Go: Organic Orchestra, Paul Lytton, and Vinny Golia among many others. She also created and directed The Love Ensemble, an experimental group dedicated to developing musical vocabularies for improvisers through physical movement, integrated character work, and narrative structures.

In addition to the violin, Ronit plays an electric 7-string violin which extends below the cello range. She also performs as a singer, guitarist, and on various other stringed instruments as well as computers, electronics and percussion. She often adds new instruments to her arsenal when working on her own film scores, as she searches for just the right way to express the story's signature sound.

Ronit is also a pioneer in the art of re-imagining film scores and narrative material for live performance. She began on this path early on with her concert work Departures, which re-examined key scenes and dynamics from Casablanca through the interactions of a jazz ensemble and live audiovisual computer improvisation. In her current Remix Anatomy series, Ronit performs live electronic and acoustic remixing of her own film scores. Her solo and ensemble Remix Anatomy performances have been sponsored by FilmForum Los Angeles and the Sundance Institute, and featured shows at Sundance Film Festival.

Ronit is in demand as a session player for film and television scores as well as pop records. Recent sessions have included electric improvisations and textures for the recent releases The Finest Hours (Disney 2016) and Jessabelle (Lionsgate); classical concerto playing for Now You See Me (Summit); and fiddle solos for Ring of Fire, starring Jewel as June Carter Cash. Her album session work ranges widely too; she has played jazz backup for Scott Weiland, created the rootsy solos on alt-country band Hem's debut album Rabbit Songs, and improvised and arranged acoustic rock string stylings for The String Tribute to Jane's Addiction, for which she was also a record producer.

An alumna of the Sundance Composers Labs (Feature Film, Documentary and Time Warner Fellowships), Ronit has returned to the lab several times to contribute her talents as a creative advisor, making herself available for collaboration in recording sessions and highlighting some of the potentials of working with creative musicians on narrative projects.


scarf and sky
"Ronit Kirchman vibrated earth-goddess violin."
Greg Burk, LA Weekly

violin portrait

"Kirchman urges a variety of sound from the violin... bring[s] fearless vocalese."
Rex Butters, All About Jazz