Monday, February 27, 2023

Katharina Deserno

Teaching Languages : English, German

The cellist Katharina Deserno, born in Frankfurt/Main, is famous for her wide repertoire and her exciting concert programming as well as for her sensitive and expressive playing. Her international concert activities include appearances as a soloist i.a. with the Spanish National Orchestra, and as a chamber musician. Katharina performs as part of a duo with Serbian pianist Nenad Lečić, since more than 15 years. Her artistic work encompasses numerous world premieres of compositions written for her; concert tours and festival invitations, radio broadcasts at WDR, Deutschlandfunk, Radio Clasica, ORF i.a. and CD-productions. Reviewers outline her “perfect playing” and “perfection of technique” (Rondo Magazine).

On her debut CD “Hommage à Clara Schumann” (2011), she presented music for cello and piano and for cello solo by women composers; on subsequent albums for KALEIDOS and WERGO she has recorded music by Sergei Rachmaninov, Alexander Grechaninov, Konrad Lang and Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as chamber music by Barbara Heller. All recordings include world-premieres and have been praised highly by the press. On her CD which was released in 2019, she presented a solo program with music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Violeta Dinescu : Her interpretation of the Bach suites was identical as "masterly" (Das Orchester). First reviews write about a “an impressing recording”, “enthralling interpretation” and “an extraordinary, touching CD” (pizzicato, Musenblätter). There will be one more CD released soon with solo music by Dinescu (Kaleidos).

Katharina Deserno received her artistic education in Frankfurt, Paris and Cologne from Maria Kliegel, Gerhard Mantel and Philipp Muller; further inspiration and artistic impulses came i.a. from Janos Starker, Siegfried Palm, Wolfgang Boettcher, György Kurtág, José Luís de Delás, and Rainer Zipperling for baroque cello. Already during her studies she became an assistant to Maria Kliegel. Being one of the youngest teachers at the Cologne University of Music and Dance, she established her own cello class in 2008. Meanwhile, many of her students are prizewinners of international and national competitions. Katharina is regularly invited to give master classes for young cellists. Her book on the history of women cellists was published in 2018 by Böhlau publishers. Her teaching book for young cellists, published by Schott, was a sheet music top seller for several years.

In 2015, Katharina Deserno became professor at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. She is artistic director of Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Frankfurt. In 2022 Summer, she was appointed as a substitute professor at University of Music Mainz, Germany. 

Katharina Deserno plays an Italian Violoncello by Carlo Antonio Testore from 1712 which has been generously loaned to her by a German Maecenas.