Buchholz was born in Duisburg. She studied flute, guitar, bass guitar and singing at the Bielefeld University. She earned her first success as a bass player in the German woman jazz band Reichlich Weiblich. Since the early 1980s she worked on various interdisciplinary projects both as performer and composer. She produced e.g. Tap It Deep - „midified“ Steppdance and music, Human Interactivity and Theremin: Berlin-Moscow.
At the end of the 1990s Buchholz met Lydia Kavina, the grandniece of Léon Theremin; later she went to Moscow and became a master student of Kavina. In jazz and contemporary music she develops new playing techniques and experiments with various sound possibilities for the theremin. Together with Kavina, in 2005 Buchholz founded the Platform Touch! Don't Touch! for theremin. New compositions for the platform were worked out amongst others by Moritz Eggert, Michael Hirsch, Caspar Johannes Walter, Juliane Klein, Peter Gahn, Gordon Kampe and Sidney Corbett. Buchholz performed in a trio with Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen and live electronics performer Jan Bang, tours with Jazz Bigband Graz in the framework of ELECTRIC POETRY & Lo-Fi Cookies and conducts solo performances as well.
She played the theremin in various contemporary works, like The Little Mermaid, a ballet by John Neumeier, music by Lera Auerbach, and in the operas Linkerhand by Moritz Eggert and Bestmann-Opera by Alex Nowitz.
She died of cancer on 10 April 2012.
- Touch! Don't Touch! (2006; Wergo), together with Lydia Kavina & Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin
- Theremin: Russia with Love (2006; Intuition)
- Moonstruck (2008; Intuition)
- Obituary in Jazz on Blog (German)
- Deutschlands erste Frauen-Bigband - Ätherwellen-Geige im Krawall-TV, Spiegel Online (in german), accessed 30 January 2010
- Ohne Sahne, bitte!, Zeit Online (in German) the internet branch of Die Zeit, Germany's most widely read weekly newspaper, accessed 30 January 2010
- Theremin Spielerin in Castingshow - Die Urgroßmutter aller Synthesizer, Die Tageszeitung website (in german), accessed 30 January 2010
- (German) Barbara Buchholz in Supertalent 2009, ClipFish website, accessed 26 December 2009
- Obituary on Theremin World