Petra Nachtmanova was born in Vienna in 1987 and studied history at the University of Nottingham. She has been living in Berlin since 2008. Her chief interest is folk music from Anatolia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She sang as a mezzo-soprano with the Bulgarian vocal ensemble Bulgarian Voices Berlin and was a founding member of the Berlin bands Tralalka and OKO, which perform traditional Eastern European songs in new arrangements. Her interest in Anatolian music and the bağlama lute has been developing since 2010, when she represented Austria at the 2014 TRT Türkcevizyon International Festival in Denizli, performed at ITV in Baku, and appeared on the community media channels Avrupa and YolTV. She filmed an Arte documentary about the bağlama, SAZ-The Key of Trust, with director Stephan Talneau (premiere at the Istanbul Film Festival 2019). With the Paris-based band Telli Turnalar, she performs traditional Anatolian repertoire at international festivals (Festival International du Luth à Tétouan 2016, Sacred Spirit Festival Jodhpur 2019) and in Anatolian communities in Europe. She also collaborates with multi-instrumentalist Ceyhun Kaya and DJ İpek İpekçioğlu on music and lyrics for their joint electronic project Karmatürji. Nachtmanova is particularly interested in the development of folk music and its symbolism in relation to identity, especially in diaspora. She therefore curates together with Ceyhun Kaya the monthly event Beynel Milel at Villa Neukölln, which every month invites musicians from a different Neukölln community.
Petra Nachtmanova was a resident at the Tarabya Cultural Academy from Februray to July 2022.