Steinbacher was born in Munich on November 14, 1981, to a German father and a Japanese mother. When she was three, her mother read that a German violin teacher had recently returned from Japan after studying the Suzuki method. Steinbacher started violin lessons at that time. When she was nine years old, she was enrolled at the Munich College of Music and mentored by Ana Chumachenco.
Steinbacher came into contact with Ivry Gitlis, and took part in master classes by Dorothy DeLay and Kurt Sassmannshaus in Aspen, Colorado. She won several important prizes (the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hanover), and a grant from the Free State of Bavaria in 2001, then became a student of Anne-Sophie Mutter's Freundeskreis ("Circle of friends").
She has recorded extensively for PENTATONE and Orfeo.
Prizes and honours
- 2000 Joseph-Joachim-Violinwettbewerbes Hannover
- 2001 Förderpreis des Freistaates Bayern
- 2001 Scholarship "Anne-Sophie Mutter's circle of friends"
- 2004 Aram Khachaturian – Violin Concerto and Cello Concerto; Arabella Steinbacher, Daniel Müller-Schott, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo
- 2005 Darius Milhaud – Violin Concerto No.1, Violin Concerto No.2, Concertino; Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Pincas Steinberg
- 2006 Violino Latino – Arabella Steinbacher, Peter von Wienhardt
- 2006 Dmitri Shostakovich – Violin Concerto No.1, Violin Concerto No.2, Arabella Steinbacher, Symphonieorchester des Bayrischen Rundfunks
- 2008 Sonatas for violin and piano/"Gypsy", Poulenc, Fauré, Ravel – Arabella Steinbacher, Robert Kulek
- 2009 Beethoven – Violin Concerto, Alban Berg – Violin Concerto – Arabella Steinbacher, Andris Nelsons
- 2009 Dvorak – Violin Concerto, Romanze f-moll, Karol Szymanowski – Violin Concerto No. 1
- 2010 Béla Bartók – Violin Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2
- 2011 Johannes Brahms – Violin Concerto
- 2011 Johannes Brahms – Complete Works for Violin and Piano
- 2012 Sergei Prokofiev – Violin Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2, Sonata for Solo Violin
- 2013 Erich Wolfgang Korngold – Violin Concerto, Ernest Chausson – Poème, Max Bruch – Violin Concerto No. 1
- 2014 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Violin Concerto No. 3, Violin Concerto No. 4, Violin Concerto No. 5
- 2014 César Franck – Violin Sonata, Richard Strauss – Violin Sonata
- 2015 Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto, Beethoven – Violin Concerto
- 2016 Violin showpieces by Pablo de Sarasate, Franz Waxman, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jules Massenet, Maurice Ravel, and Ralph Vaughan Williams