Katharina Pfeifer grew up in Oldenburg, Germany. She started playing classical piano at the age of four. Later, at the age of 9, she became interested in wind instruments and started playing a second instrument, the cornet. She joined the high school big band, but a few years later started studying classical clarinet. However, she enjoyed the music and sound of the big band and began playing the alto saxophone at the age of 16. From then on, she also listened to jazz music more often and took lessons from local saxophonist Paulo Pereira, who offered her to play tenor.
In 2017 she started her jazz studies at the Maastricht Conservatory and had lessons with Reiner Witzel, Carlo Nardozza, Matthias Nowak, among others. There she met many musicians with whom she played and formed bands such as the Pfeifer/Amaro/Tarnopolskij Trio, the Amaro/Pfeifer Duo or her own Katharina Pfeifer Quartet. She graduated cum laude in June 2021 and won the Henriëtte
Hustinx Award for her bachelor exam project.
Besides her own projects she had the opportunity to work with the Conservatory Big Band with musicians like Dennis Mackrel, John Clayton, Michael Philip Mossman, John Beasley and many more. Because of her interest in big band music, she started taking lessons in flute and jazz clarinet and plays in Aachen with the Jazzotic Big Band (under the direction of Walter Hennecken) and occasionally fills in for the Jack Million Band (under the direction of Jack Coenen). Katharina was a member of the Fringe Orchestra (directed by Jesse Passenier) and played at renowned festivals such as the Nijmegen Music Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2019.
Her playing is strongly influenced by Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Joe Henderson, Walter Smith III, Melissa Aldana and many more. She likes to explore new directions in music and tries to gather as many impressions and experiences as possible to find her own musical place in life.