Katharina Deserno received her artistic education in Frankfurt, Paris and Cologne from Maria Kliegel, Gerhard Mantel and Philipp Muller; further inspiration and artistic impulses from Jano s Starker, Siegfried Palm, Wolfgang Boettcher, György Kurtag i.a.
During her studies she was already working as assistant of Maria Kliegel. Being one of the youngest teachers, she started teaching a cello class at Cologne University of Music and Dance in 2008. Meanwhile, many of her students are prizewinners of international and national competitions. Katharina Deserno is regularly invited to give master classes for young cellists.
In 2014 Katharina Deserno received her doctorate in musicology with distinction. Her book about the History of Women Cellists was published in 2018 by Böhlau. Her teaching book for young cellists, published by Schott, was a music Top-Seller.
In 2015, Katharina Deserno was offered a chair as professor at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. She is artistic director of Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Frankfurt. She plays an Italian Violoncello by Carlo Antonio Testore from 1712 which has been generously provided to her by a German Maecenas.