Katharina Arfken, born in Northern Germany, has specialized in playing historical double-reed instruments. Her main interest is the oboe of the 18th century.
After working as an instrumentmaker she studied baroque/classical oboe and renaissance double-reed instruments at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Switzerland, with Michel Piguet and at the Royal Conservatory of Music, The Hague, with Ku Ebbinge.
Katharina Arfken has performed and recorded with many leading ensembles, such as The English Baroque Soloists, dir. J. E. Gardiner and The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, dir. Ton Koopman. As the solooboist of the Freiburger Barockorchester, Germany, she takes part in all the important Early Music Festivals in Europe.
Her latest recordings include the Mozart oboe concerto and the Bach Oboe d’amore concerto, both with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (Recording label harmonia mundi, France).
K. Arfken is a professor for baroque and classical oboe at the Musikhochschule Basel, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Switzerland and regularly gives summer courses in the whole of Europe. She lives with her husband and two adopted children in Rheinfelden, Switzerland.