Residing in the Netherlands, Russian flutist Katja Pitelina is a skilled and versatile musician who creates beautiful concert programs, successfully combining both a modern and historically informed performance.
Katja’s expertise and dynamism is reflected in her remarkably broad repertoire encompassing music from 17th century Baroque to contemporary pieces – for each one she chooses the most appropriate flute from her personal collection of modern and period instruments.
In Holland and abroad, Katja regularly plays in concert series and festivals as a soloist, in chamber music ensembles, and with modern and baroque orchestras. She has performed baroque music with renowned musicians such as Gustav Leonhardt, Lucy van Dael, Bob van Asperen, Siebe Henstra and Barthold Kuijken, Cassandra Luckhardt, and Anthony Romaniuk. Her partners in classical chamber music are Lavinia Meijer, Johannes Möller, Emlyn Stam, Victoria Davies, and Anna Karpenko.
Katja was born in Moscow and began her musical education at the prestigious Gnessin Music School at the age of five, which led to her winning several international competitions during her school years. Her exceptional talent was affirmed by grant awards from the New Names Foundation as well as the distinguished Vladimir Spivakov Trust, who then invited her on an extensive tour throughout Siberia playing numerous times as the soloist with a symphony orchestra.
She continued her studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow from 1999 to 2005 – her tutors including the flutist Olga Ivusheikova, the pianist Alexei Lubimov, and the cellist Natalia Gutman.
From 2001 to 2008, Katja studied in the early music department at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague. She finished her education with a master’s degree under the guidance of the traverso player, Professor Barthold Kuijken and also had lessons with Kate Clark and Wilbert Hazelzet.
Even as a student, she regularly received invitations to play in concert series and festivals in different countries. In April 2009 she performed for the Dutch Royal Family in the annual Queen’s Concert at Noordeinde Palace.
In 2006, Katja began playing with the Japanese period flute player, Reiko Tsuiki. Together they founded the ensemble DuoKaleidoscope which performs repertoire spanning more than four centuries from the Baroque period to the present day. In 2018, DuoKaleidoscope recorded and issued a CD with French Baroque Flute Duos, which enjoyed a very enthusiastic reception in the United States and in Japan, and was given a 9 by the music reviewer of the famous Dutch magazine Luister.
Since 2012, Katja has been a soloist of The Bach Choir and Orchestra of the Netherlands, and performs as a soloist at the Great Hall of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Katja also plays together with the organist Anna Karpenko – they currently have a new CD in production.
Katja is also an active musicologist. She translated to Russian the significant historical treatise concerning flute playing and aesthetics of musical performance in 18th century Germany, “Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen” written by J. J. Quantz in 1752 – this was published by Early Music Publishing House in 2013 in St Petersburg. Katja gives masterclasses and lectures annually on the subject of historically informed performance and the history of the flute in particular.
Her latest initiative is as a co-founder in 2022 of the Dutch foundation “Music for Peace” along with pianist Maria Nemtsova and saxofonist Vitaly Vatulya. The aim of this foundation is to foster an environment where people can feel united and music can express their deep desire to live in peace and harmony.