Bernard Hofstötter was born in Vienna. Before devoting himself to the lute, he studied the violin under Grete Biedermann. He was national prizewinner of the Jugend musiziert competition in his native Austria. He studied at universities in Vienna, Oslo, Leuven, and St. Gallen, and then continued his studies as a lutenist under Luciano Còntini at the Conservatorio Arrigo Pedrollo in Vincenza and at the City Conservatory of Vienna. He completed his studies under Toyohiko Satoh at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, where he received his soloist diploma in 2001. Hofstötter furthered his musical education with Konrad Junghänel at the Musikhochschule of Cologne and in master classes with Hopkinson Smith and Rolf Lislevand. His numerous activities with different ensembles and as a soloist have taken him to concert halls in his native country (the Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Morzarteum in Salzburg), in many European countries, as well as in Japan.