Herkenhoff was born in Osnabrück, Germany,
in 1966. He took his first piano lessons at the age of six.
At 14 came his encounter with the panflute at a concert
given by the Romanian virtuoso Gheorghe Zamfir
autodidactic studies soon earned him a reputation as "the
best non-Romanian panflute player". He stood out not
only through his interpretation of classical music, but
also for his work in the field of Romanian folk-improvisation.
Following his flute
studies at the Munich Richard-Strauss Conservatory with
Jochen Gärtner, Ulrich Herkenhoff became the first
German panflute player to be officially registered at the
Advanced Class with final examination.
He received special
support for his studies of Romanian folk music from the
Swiss ethnomusicologist and publisher Marcel Cellier, who
discovered Gheorghe Zamfir. Together with Cellier Herkenhoff
produced his first CD in 1990.
Through his interpretation
of classical music Ulrich Herkenhoff has inspired several
contemporary composers to write music for the panflute.
In 1992 he was awarded the Munich "Förderpreis
des Gasteig Kulturkreises" (Sponsorship of Culture
Group) and in 1996 with the Bavarian "Staatsförderpreis
für junge Künstler" (State Sponsorship for
Besides giving concerts
Ulrich Herkenhoff is also acting in the pedagogical area;
he is invited to national and international panflute seminars
as an instructor since several years. In 1993 he inaugurated
the first official class for panflute at the music-school
in Bad Tölz, Germany. In the year 2000 he received
the famous "Echo" award of the "Deutsche
Phono Akademie e.V." for his CD "Symphonic Cinema",
honoured as best classical virtuoso of the year.
Since then Herkenhoff
is also much asked for as soloist for cinema soundtracks.
Among others he participated in the Oscar-winning music
of “Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King"
(composer: Howard Shore). He also contributed to the recording
of Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack of "Fateless"
(Roman eines Schicksallosen).
Besides his concert
activities Ulrich Herkenhoff is also acting in the pedagogical
area and he is applying himself to publishing literature
for panflute. Since the winter semester 2007 he is teaching
panflute as core theme at the Anton Bruckner University
All instruments he is
playing are manufactured by himself.
Text by Matthias Keller,
translated by Michael Böhm and David Pighills