Barbara Leitherer was born in Bamberg, Germany. Diploma studies viola da gamba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel (CH) with J.Savall and P.Pandolfo. Besides music, she devoted herself to the research and practical realisation of historical dance. Second studies at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen Baroque dance with J.Schrape and viola da gamba with S.Cunningham. She wrote her diploma thesis on an anonymous dance manuscript from around 1760 from Arolsen Castle near Kassel.
She works as a gambist in various German and Swiss chamber music ensembles as well as a dancer and choreographer. Barbara Leitherer regularly holds seminars in historical dance, both with children and adults of all ages. As a lecturer for baroque dance she teaches at the Musikhochschule FHNW in Basel and the Musikhochschule Luzern HSLU.