While Christina Pluhar established a highly successful career as a multi-faceted instrumentalist in early music and Baroque repertory, she has come to be identified in the 21st century as the founder and music director of the vocal/instrumental ensemble L'Arpeggiata. Not surprisingly, Pluhar leads this group in similar repertory, but with a focus on Italian fare and with the infusion of jazz and folk elements. Pluhar has mastered several different though similar instruments: Baroque guitar, Renaissance lute, archlute, theorbo, and Baroque harp. She has appeared in performance playing them, both as soloist and continuo player, throughout Europe, the U.K., and Australia and with many famous early music ensembles such as Concerto Köln and La Fenice. She has appeared both as soloist and with L'Arpeggiata on numerous recordings for such labels as Alpha Productions, EMI, and Naïve.
Christina Pluhar was born in Graz, Austria, in 1965. She studied lute at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, where her teachers included Toyohiko Satoh. She had further studies with Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, and Mara Galassi at the Scuola Civica di Milano.
Throughout the 1990s Pluhar steadily built her performance career and in 2000 founded L'Arpeggiata. Based in Paris, the ensemble, consisting of about ten members, performs on original instruments, despite its jazz and folk additions.
Pluhar chose some of the finest artists in Europe as members, including Italian folk singer Lucilla Galeazzi, Baroque guitarist Marcello Vitale, and cornettist Doron David Sherwin. She led L'Arpeggiata virtually to overnight success with its first CD, La Villanella (a collection of Giovanni Kapsberger vocal works), issued to great acclaim the year it was founded.