Bernd Lüdtke is that increasingly rare creature - a native West Berliner. Growing up on the ‘island’ of West Berlin, as it was at the time, very much influenced the fascinating path that his long musical career has taken. Having started to learn classical guitar at the age of nine, Bernd was soon influenced by folk and bluegrass music he was hearing on American radio stations. He took up the five-string banjo and the mandolin and before long, he was playing folk and bluegrass music all over West Berlin.
In the circles in which he moved, it was inevitable that he would be exposed to Irish music and he quickly added bodhrán, tenor banjo and Irish bouzouki to his instrument collection. Not content to rest there, Bernd’s desire to play a melody instrument led him to the Irish fiddle. Through years of study, including workshops in Ireland and Germany, and many pub sessions, he has developed a skill and style that has led to the ultimate compliment from Irish musicians: “From your playing, I could have sworn you were Irish!”
Although Bernd is mostly known these days for his fiddle playing, his talent, professionalism and musical versatility make him one of the most sought-after musicians on the Irish music scene for live and studio performances. He also leads workshops in fiddle, bodhrán and ensemble playing.
But Irish music is not the only string to Bernd’s bow (pun intended!). Along with various Irish music line-ups, such as Midnight Court, Ludic Loops and Celtic Affair, he also plays in a cover band and has even recorded with the gothic metal band Thanateros. He strongly believes in music as a way to cross boundaries and this energy is a decisive factor in the dynamism that he brings to the Robbie Doyle Band.