Katharina received her first piano lessons from her mother at five years of age. When she was seven, she began attending a music school, where she studied the piano for seven years, obtaining a final grade of “excellent”. At the age of 15 she began to study the piano first with S. Reschetow at the Ippolitow-Iwanow Academy of Music (final grade “excellent”), and after that with Paul Messner (former pupil of E. Gilels) and E. Richter (former pupil of H, Neuhaus) at the Tschaikowsky Conservatory in Moscow. Diploma: concert pianist, piano teacher, répétiteur. By coincidence, both professors were also of German descent. In the course of her student years she received lessons from reputed piano professors such as: J. Batuew, Th. Gutmann, and J. Iwanow, and attended the master classes of E. Malinin. The AUDI scholarship awarded to her in 1995 honored her talent and the concerts afforded her the opportunity to demonstrate and further develop her abilities. She continued her study of the piano in Germany with Prof. Barbara Fry at the Heidelberg-Mannheim Conservatory.
Granddaughter Florentina (born in 2003) practices the piano with both teachers at home.
Mother Flora and her daughter Katharina (Katya) are descended from a German family named Schell, who migrated to Russia at the recommendation of Tsarina Catherine the Great in the 18th century. At this time in Russia there were German villages with German schools and churches etc. In one of these German-speaking villages Flora’s (maternal) grandmother was born. She was very pious and thought religious music played on the reed organ was the highest good. After the destruction of the second world war, the grandmother’s wish that someone in her large family should be able to play a musical instrument, a reed organ, remained unchanged. She sold the only cow, which was very valuable at that time!!! – in order to buy an old piano and send me to the music school that had just opened. The most highly talented teachers were transferred there from Leningrad. Following the wish of my German grandmother, I, Flora, attended the music school (instrument - piano). After that I studied at the Academy of Music (diploma as piano teacher and répétiteur). At the same time I successfully completed courses in history and Russian literature (diploma) at the College of Education. With my more than 40 years of professional experience as a piano teacher I was able to be a great benefit to my family.