Kristel studied a music degree WITS University. For her academic performance at WITS she was awarded a Scholarship for music as well as a prize for the best string player. In her final year, Kristel majored in music performance. During her studies, she performed regularly at the Lunch Hour concerts, the Wits orchestra concerts and for the Wits Baroque Ensemble.

After completing her degree, she continued performing with various ensembles as well as a Celtic rock band.

On the theatre stage Kristel performed a solo violin role for many Barnyard Theatre show productions including “Beethoven Rocks Again”, “Natural Woman”, “Rock Me Amadeus” and “Harvest Moon“.

Kristel has also explored performances on-screen with a highlight being featured in the Subaru car advert in 2007.

She has made guest appearances for local soapies as a violinist on e-TV’s Backstage (2005) and numerous times on Egoli (2006/7/9) and Binnerlanders (2015).

As a researcher in the field of Musicology, Kristel completed her Masters in Music Degree (MMUS) at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2010. She presented papers on her thesis topic at the SASRIM conference (2007/8) and Moshito Conference (2009).

As a recording artist, Kristel was nominated for a SAMA award in 2010 for the release of her classical video recording of a Grahamstown recital titled “The Sea in Spring”. The video release was combined with a CD recording the same year. Other CD releases include Burning Bridges (2008), an album consisting of solo violin complimented with piano and acoustic guitar accompaniment with renditions of well known jazz and movie tunes.

As a composer/singer-songwriter, Kristel completed a full-length album of her original songs which was released in December 2014 by her band Cherry Pill. The band  has been invited to perform at Midem Festival in Cannes and South By South West Festival in Austin.

Cherry Pill were featured in  a Ford Commercial titled Ford Bands in Transit with Kristel’s song ‘Silent Movie’.

Discography To Date:

Burning Bridges (2008)
The Sea in Spring (2009)
Gloria  Volume 1 : Christmas Carols for Violin and Guitar (2012)
Chocolate Box by Cherry Pill (2014)
Si Tu Savais by Cherry Pill (2016)

Kristel currently performs regularly at various festivals, corporate functions and private events. She performs in various Speciality Acts ranging from aerial performances, Red Carpet Violinist, The Bubble setting, to a show collaboration with a beat-boxer titled ‘Beauty and the Beat’.

Recordings of traditional, classical and other instrumental pieces for violin, piano and guitar.

kristel birkholtz playing acoustic violin