Mechthild Karkow was born in Emden, Germany. Her active performing career began whilst she was studying at the music academies of Lübeck, Hannover, Frankfurt and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. One of her interests has been historical performance practice, and she has had lessons with John Holloway, Simon Standage and Anton Steck, amongst others. In 2006 she began specialising in baroque violin, studying with Petra Müllejans in Frankfurt and with Chiara Banchini at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, receiving a Masters degree with distinction in 2010. In addition she has been studying historical improvisation with Rudolf Lutz at the SCB since 2009. Mechthild Karkow has performed in various European festivals including the Internationale Händel Festspiele in Göttingen and in Halle, the Neue Forum für Alte Musik Zürich, the Festival Seviqc Brezice, the York Early Music Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival. She has worked with conductors including Mark Minkowski, William Christie and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and with orchestras including Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, European Union Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ensemble 415 and Freiburger Barockorchester. Mechthild Karkow is a musician of the foundation Yehudi Menuhin – Live Music Now, and winner of the International Competition for Baroque Violin Bonporti 2007. She received a special prize from the jury at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig 2010.