The pianist Burkhard Kehring took a close interest in art song and literature from an early age. Prizes in accompaniment from international lieder competitions in London (Walther Gruner Competition 1993) and Munich (Hans Pfitzner Competition 1994) marked the beginning of his concert career as a lieder accompanist, which has taken him to the most important European concert halls such as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and to the USA, Asia and South America as well as to numerous music festivals such as the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Bergen Music Festival, the Schubert Serenades in New York, and the Ravinia Festival in Chicago.
He has been the official piano accompanist at masterclasses by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Reri Grist, Marylin Horne, Ernst Haefliger and Hermann Prey. He has worked in artistic partnership with such singers as Ruth Ziesak, Christiane Iven, Randi Stene, Michaela Kaune, Inger Dam-Jensen, Christiane Oelze, Christiane Karg, Robert Holl, Kwangchoul Youn, Christopheren Nomura, Roman Trekel, Christian Elsner, Dietrich Henschel, Hanno Müller-Brachmann, Andreas Schmidt, Florian Bösch, Jan Kobow and Lothar Odinius. Together with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, he has been presenting musical readings and melodramatic recitals (1995–2003).
Burkhard Kehring has also planned and accompanied lieder recital series of his own. His first such cycle in the Hamburg Laeiszhalle offered almost the entire lieder output of Hugo Wolf. It was followed in 1997 by the “Schubertiade modern”—a comparison of the songs of Schubert and those of the Schoenberg circle—and by the recital series “Schubert plus” in Frankfurt am Main. In the course of the 2003 Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the accompanist presented a further Hugo Wolf cycle to mark the centenary of the composer’s death, followed in 2004 by a new Schubert cycle in the Berlin State Opera ‘Unter den Linden’. In 2006 Burkhard Kehring was invited by the International ‘Beethovenfest’ in Bonn to perform a Robert Schumann cycle together with ten singers. At the same festival, the inauguration of his global project ‘Divan of Song’ is being planned for 2014.
According to his dedication to contemporary art song, Burkhard Kehring has played numerous first performances, including new works by composers like Christoph Coburger, Lars-Henrik Nystén, Wolfgang Florey, Otfried Büsing, Fabián Panisello or Dai Fujikura. His lieder recordings range from Schubert, Schumann and Mahler to Schönberg, Ullmann and Ligeti. An album of melodramas—the last studio recording of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau—appeared in 2005 at ‘Deutsche Grammophon’, whereas the début recital recording ‘Verwandlung/Transformation’ with soprano Christiane Karg received the ECHO KLASSIK award in 2010.
Appointed professor at the ‘Hochschule für Musik und Theater’ Hamburg in 2002, Burkhard Kehring is the director of a ‘Master of Music’ study program in art song performance. He was invited to give masterclasses in Germany, Spain, Canada, Israel, South Korea, China and India.