studied double bass with Rainer Zepperitz at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. From 1976 he was a member of the World Youth Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein in Seoul and Tokyo. The following year he joined the Berliner Philharmoniker, of which he is still a member, under Herbert von Karajan-as the youngest member at the time. From 1981 to 1985 he interrupted his service to play first solo double bass under Sergiu Celibidache in the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In the 1990s he participated in numerous concert tours and CD productions of the "Consortium Classicum".
In the Ensemble Berlin, which he co-founded in 1999 together with philharmonic colleagues, he plays rarely performed chamber music of the classical and romantic periods. He has also performed chamber music with Krystian Zimmermann, the Auryn Quartet, the Rodin Quartet and the Philharmonia Quartet Berlin, Anne Sofie von Otter, Christoph Prégardien and Magdalena Kočená.
He has a special love for early music, which he has cultivated since childhood. Ulrich Wolff, who was a member of Reinhard Goebel's now defunct ensemble "Musica Antiqua Köln", is also a master of playing historical instruments such as the violone and the viola da gamba. Since 2008 he has played as a gambist and violist in the ensemble "Concerto Melante", which he co-founded, as well as with the "Berliner Barocksolisten". Between 2012 and 2015 he played the viola da gamba solos in the performances of the St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion under Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars at the Lucerne Festival, Lincoln Center, New York, Royal Albert Hall, London, Berlin Philharmonie and Baden-Baden Festspielhaus.
With "Concerto Melante" he recorded numerous CDs for Sony Classical. He also participated in numerous concert tours and CD productions with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.
Throughout Europe, as well as in Japan, China, Singapore, Brazil and the USA, he gave master classes for double bass, violone and viola da gamba. From 2005 he taught at the Gustav Mahler Academies initiated by Claudio Abbado in Potenza and Bolzano in Italy and since 2018 at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center, Japan.
The diversity of his artistic activity is documented on countless CDs as well as in his presence at the important international concert series and festivals in Europe, Asia, America and Australia.