Martina Kirchhof was born in Germersheim. She began her musical education at the age of 4, learning to play the recorder and the viol. Her talent was soon noticed in regular public performances and she was promoted as a soloist as well as playing in ensembles. At 14 she joined the instrumental ensemble for Ancient Music Bruchsal under Martin Schirrmeister with whom she undertook concert tours and television appearances. Martin Schirrmeister guided her as a viola da gamba soloist until she started her studies, bringing out her brilliant technique, musical expressiveness and inspired playing in many performances.
After taking Abitur, she started her studies at the Meistersinger Konservatorium in Nürnberg and afterwards at the Frankfurt Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst under Prof. Rainer Zipperling. Under Prof. Michael Schneider, she completed her chamber music studies with a wide spectrum of literature encompassing all styles from early baroque to preclassical. She continued her studies under Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague.
During her studies she performed in concerts with various ensembles and singers at distinguished musical events such as the Arolser Baroque Festival, the Hohenloher Kultursommer, „Klang und Raum“ in Cloister Irsee, the Bruchsal Barocktagen and in an opera production at Claudio Monteverdi´s Poppea at the Berlin Philarmonie.
She is a permanent member of the ensemble „Liuto Concertato“ under the direction of Lutz Kirchhof. Here she became known for her brilliant virtuosity and her warm, unusual colourful as well as her temperamentful and expressive playing.
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Radio and television performances and CD productions complete her concert activities.
Since their marriage in 2007, Martina and Lutz Kirchhof have played and recorded various forms of music for viola da gamba and lute name DUO KIRCHHOF. Martina Kirchhof has developed a way of playing, based on “tout en l’air” technique, which gives the string tone a rhythmic intensity and jazz-like drive, reminiscent of the old maestros of viola da gamba. The strong, rhythmic pulse of the works for lute is particularly enhanced through her style of playing.
After producing a number of recordings for the celebrated label SONY MUSIC and the US-American recording company with a world-wide distribution network CENTAUR, Martina and Lutz Kirchhof set up their own label LutzLute®, on which they have released audio-CDs and video productions.
The most outstanding of these are the music videos CHIPASS, Music of the travelling Entertainers and ROSE VIOLE, Promenade Concert through the Palais Papius, in which virtuoso dance music and mystical fantasy compositions are presented in a stilish Renaissance and Baroque setting. Impressions of Nature (Chipass) and an ambience of mystery and elegance (Rose Viole) merge artistically with the refined sounds of the regal instruments.
Over the many years of her performing career, Martina Kirchhof has developed an exceptional skill in ornamentation, which together with marked virtuosity and fine rhythmic quality gives her dance-like music a striking intensity.
Martina & Lutz Kirchhof
© Lutz Kirchhof