Barbara Kernig began her musical education on the cello with Johannes Goritzki in Düsseldorf. After completing her studies she moved to Amsterdam, where she continued studying modern cello before falling in love with the historical performance of music between the 17th and 19th centuries. Surrounded by the pioneers of the early music movement in Holland, she worked closely with many of the leading figures in the scene, including Anner Bylsma, Gustav Leonhardt, Japp ter Linden, and Wilbert Hazelt. She has also performed with many European baroque orchestras, including Les Musiciens du Louvre and Frans Bruggen’s Orchestra of the 18th Century, appearing both as a soloist and as a tutti player.
Most recently she has focused on her work with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. She also performs regularly with the Rheinische Kantorei, the Holland Baroque Society, the Nederlandse Bachvereniging, and the Kleine Konzert under the direction of Hermann Max. In recent times she performes more and more chamber music; most prominently with the Cornelis-Quartett, The Northern Consort from Groningen and with her own cello duo Les Deux Tortues with Lidewij Scheifes.