Katja Zakotnik

Artist photo of Katja Zakotnik - cello

Katja Zakotnik was born in Slovenia. She completed her cello studies at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media with Tilmann Wick. Following a longing for southern flair, she simultaneously applied to the Stauffer Academy in Cremona near Milan, where she attended monthly master classes with Rocco Filippini from 2003 to 2005. After graduating in Hanover in 2005 with the highest grade, she accepted the invitation of famous cellist Bernard Greenhouse (Beaux Arts Trio) to study on the US East Coast.

In addition to the intensity of her playing, Katja Zakotnik is characterized by her innovative and modern thinking. She is a trained concert educator, certified cultural manager, and studied cultural marketing. Her particular passions include themed concerts and new concert formats.

Naila Alvarenga-Lahmann says of her duo partner, who was born in Slovenia in 1979: ”Although she is constantly on a quest for perfection, Katja has a certain spirit of lightheartedness. It is obvious that she was introduced to her instrument very early and with great pleasure, and that she always connects with the audience as soon as she steps onto the stage. It is understandable that she not only often won first prize in competitions, but also the audience prize, such as at the IBLA Grand Prize World Music Competitions in Ibla, Sicily in 2009. She strives to understand the music completely, which results in very intensive work. This is something which I enjoy a great deal. I assume that the places where she studied were responsible for the contrasting qualities of determination and lightheartedness she possesses. She studied at the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover and simultaneously completed a three-year master class at the Accademia Walter Stauffer in Cremona, Italy. After graduating she spent six months as a student of Bernard Greenhouse in the United States. She says that she learned her indispensable range of tonal colors there, which I appreciate as much as I do her precision. In rehearsals I sometimes have the feeling that we are an orchestra or an opera. Every voice exists for a reason and tells a story. This is then communicated to the audience not only musically but also verbally and visually. How Katja talks about the works we perform at our theme recitals fascinates me over and over again. Sometimes she uses Powerpoint and a beamer, then a flipchart, actors pop up, or artists from other genres. Her ideas for making the music even more understandable for the audience are inexhaustible. She is now known for her unusual concert formats – this year she created an event for an audience in deckchairs. I am certain that many more surprises of this kind await me. And yet: it never becomes complicated. Despite all her creativity she is simply too practical for that.” Katja Zakotnik studied with Prof. Tilmann Wick, Prof. Rocco Filippini and subsequently with Bernard Greenhouse. She travels the world as a soloist, chamber music partner and also in orchestras led by conductors such as Claudio Abbado. Her playing is described as “musical song.”

Picture: Christian Gaier

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CDs released by GENUIN

with Katja Zakotnik

CD album cover 'From Home with Love' (GEN 24859) with Katja Zakotnik, Naila Alvarenga-Lahmann

From Home with Love

Werke von Komponisten aus Brasilien, Slowenien und Deutschland

Katja Zakotnik cello
Naila Alvarenga-Lahmann Piano

GEN 24859  –  5.1.2024

CD album cover 'Freimaurerische Inspirationen' (GEN 13541) with Katja Zakotnik, Naila Alvarenga-Lahmann

Freimaurerische Inspirationen

Werke von Geminiani, Beethoven, Sibelius und Hummel

Katja Zakotnik cello
Naila Alvarenga-Lahmann Piano

GEN 13541  –  1.7.2013