Martin Burkhardt studied with Kurt Herzbruch and Claus Kanngiesser at the Cologne Conservatory. Since 1986 he is actively involved in historical performance practice of the 18th century, and took master classes with Christoph Coin and Anner Bylsma, and chamber music courses with Günther Höller und Konrad Junhänel.
Martin Burkhardt now works as a freelance cellist and performs as a chamber musician in Germany and abroad. He is a member of ensemble d'accord Köln, Duo Romantique (cello and piano) and a principal member with Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester, which he co-founded in 1993. On original instruments he performs with Le Parnasse Musical, the Deutsche Händelsolisten, and Cappella Augustina. Recently he founded the Consortium Musica Sacra Köln, as co-director. Since 1996 he teaches cello at the University of Cologne.
Martin Burkhardt regularly plays J. S. Bach's Suites for violoncello solo all over Germany and he recently released his complete recording of the work. With Le Parnasse Musical he released a CD with Mozart's early harpsichord concertos in 2006.
Martin Burkhardt is a member of the Camesina Quartet since its formation in 2007.