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An Evening with Julia Lezhneva




The international media described Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva as among “few young singers being widely celebrated so early in their careers” (The Independent) and as possessing a voice of “pure tone” (Die Welt) and “flawless technique” (The Guardian), while Norman Lebrecht declared Lezhneva as “heading for the stratosphere.” Her mentor Dame Kiri Te Kanawa said, “From time to time a really outstanding talent appears and I believe that Julia Lezhneva is just that. The brilliance of her voice and technique are extremely impressive.”  The trajectory for the meteoric rise of this “indecently talented” musician was set.


Now in her early 30s, Lezhneva will make her Singapore debut in a solo recital programme of two contrasting halves. She opens with the Baroque masters, a Lezhneva specialty where the music’s intricacy and passion, while also holding rich potential for vocal fireworks, are a perfect match for Lezhneva’s voice and talent. She contrasts this with a second half comprising Schumann’s lieder, before rounding off the concert with love-drenched canzonettas by Rossini.


Partnering Lezhneva on the piano is compatriot Pavel Nersessian, an outstanding, experienced musician in his own right who started touring at the age of eight. After graduating with the highest score from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1987, he won first place in the GPA Dublin International Piano Competition in 1991 and has been active ever since.



HANDEL – “Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion”, from Messiah

HANDEL – “Carmelitarum” and “O nox dulcis, quies serena”, HWV 240

VIVALDI – “Sposa son disprezzata”, from Bajazet, RV 703

HANDEL – “Un pensiero nemico di pace”, from Il Trionfo el Tempo e del disiganno, HWV 46a

RAMEAU – Les Cyclopes

HANDEL –"Credete al mio dolore", from Alcina

VIVALDI – “Agitata da due venti”, from La Griselda, RV 718

SCHUMANNLiederkreis, Op. 39

SCHUMANN – Arabeske in C major, Op. 18

ROSSINILa regata veneziana


(Programme subject to change at the artists' discretion)




"... sublime cantilenas with ornaments woven in like silver threads, trampoline-springing staccati and evenly swinging trills ... Even more haunting, how she knew how to use the messa di voce, the rising and falling of the tone, as an expression of emotional tremor." (FAZ, May 2021)

"A magician: she can almost make her voice disappear, performing the most ludicrous vocal feats and garland fireworks" (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Julia Lezhneva's international career began with a whirlwind when she caused a sensation at the Classical Brit Awards in London's Royal Albert Hall in 2010 with Rossini's Fra il padre at the invitation of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

In 2019, she made her debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic and at the Musikverein Vienna to great acclaim. On re-invitation she returned to the Mozartwoche Salzburg in January 2020, this time under Sir András Schiff in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and will sing there in 2023 in Mozart's Don Giovanni. In December 2020, she performed for the first time with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestras such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Orquestra Nacional de España, the Evgeny Svetlanov Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic invite Julia Lezhneva again and again, and she regularly works with renowned conductors such as Adam Fischer, Giovanni Antonini, Herbert Blomstedt, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski and Andrea Marcon.

In 2019 she was "Artist in Residence" at the Kissinger Sommer. Julia Lezhneva is a welcome guest at the Salzburg Festival, the Bayreuth Baroque Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Dubrovnik Festival, the Festival de la Vézère, the Sion Festival, the Nordland Musikfestukke Bodö, Tom Yeong Festival (Korea), to name but a few.


Julia Lezhneva's debut in Handel's Alcina (Morgana) at the Hamburg State Opera was jubilantly celebrated in September 2018 and the re-invitation for Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and further performances of Alcina followed immediately. In spring 2021, the press highly acclaimed her in the role of Poppea in the new production of Handel's Agrippina (directed by Barrie Kosky) - again at the Hamburg State Opera; in 2022 she sang Zerlina in Hamburg in Don Giovanni. She also appears in several other opera productions, including Vivaldi's Orlando Furioso (Angelica), Porpora's Polifemo (Galatea), Germanico in Germania (Ersinda), Carlo il Calvo (Gildippe), Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (Susanna, Barberina), Handel's Tamerlano and Oreste.

In winter 2019 she made her debut in Bach's Christmas Oratorio (conducted by Vladimir Jurowski); in the same season she sang in Handel's Messiah and La Resurrezione, Vivaldi's Juditha triumphans; as well as Haydn's Creation and Mahler's 4th Symphony.

Julia Lezhneva regularly gives recitals. Her repertoire includes songs and arias by Russian, English, Italian and German composers, ranging from Baroque to Belcanto.

Julia Lezhneva releases exclusively with DECCA records.


In April 2017, she released her latest solo album with Concerto Köln, featuring arias by Carl Heinrich Graun. Recent releases include Porpora’s Carlo il Calvo (2022), Vivaldi’s Gloria with Franco Fagioli and Diego Fasolis (2018), Porpora's Germanico in Germania with Max Emanuel Cencic (2018), Handel Arias with Il Giardino Armonico (2015) and her acclaimed debut album Alleluia also with Il Giardino Armonico (2014), as well as Pergolesi Stabat Mater with Philippe Jaroussky, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti (2013).

Born in 1989 in a family of geophysicists on Sakhalin Island off the Pacific Coast of Russia, Ms. Lezhneva began playing piano and singing at the age of five. She graduated from the Gretchaninov Music School and continued her vocal and piano studies at the Moscow Conservatory Academic Music College. At 17 she came to international attention as the winner of the Elena Obraztsova Opera Singers Competition, and was invited to share the stage with Juan Diego Flórez at the opening of the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in the following year. In 2009, she won first prize at the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in Helsinki and the following year took first prize at the Paris International Opera Competition, as the youngest contestant in each competition’s history. Opernwelt magazine named her “Young Singer of the Year” in 2011 for her debut at La Monnaie in Brussels. The following year she performed at the Victoires de la Musique Classique in Paris.


Julia Lezhneva’s teachers and mentors include Dennis O’Neill, Yvonne Kenny, Elena Obraztsova, Alberto Zedda, Richard Bonynge and Thomas Quasthoff.



“His performance brought a veritable roar of approval from the audience,” wrote The Irish Times, after Pavel Nersessian received the 1st Prize in the GPA Dublin International Piano Competition in 1991. Being one of the most remarkable pianists of his generation in Russia, he is known for his ability to play equally convincingly in the whole palette of the piano repertoire. He won prizes in the Beethoven Competition in Vienna in 1985, the Paloma O’Shea Competition in Santander, and the Tokyo Competition.

Nersessian was a pupil of the famous Central Music School of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where his teacher was Yu. Levin. Later he was a student of the Conservatory under Prof. S. Dorensky. Upon graduating from the Conservatory in 1987 with maximum marks, he was invited to join the faculty.

Nersessian has been touring Russia and surrounding states from the age of eight, and has given performances in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Cannes, Leipzig, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Dublin, Rio de Janeiro, Belgrade, Cairo, Kiev, Beijing and many other cities.


By special invitation from the Kirov and the Perm Ballet, Nersessian performed solo part in Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial based on the music of Tchaikovsky’s 2nd Piano Concerto with performances in the Kirov, Bolshoi, Chatelet and Covent Garden. He also played a solo part in J. Robbins’ ballet “The concert, or The Perils of Everybody” on the music of Chopin.


He is known for his collaboration with chamber music groups and other musicians, such as Borodin and Glinka Quartets, National Symphony Orchestra in Russia, Thomas Sanderling, Tugan Sokhiev, Alexandr Chernushenko, Valeriy Polyansky, Mikhail Agrest, Pascal Moragues, Julius Milkis, Evgeny Petrov, Pavel Kogan, Abel Perreira, Benjamin Schmid, Stepan Yakovich, Ani Kavafian, Andrei Gridchuk, Alena Baeva, Zlatomir Fung, Filip Kopachevsky, Yana Ivanilova, Nina Kogan, Mikhail Bereznitsky, Maxim Emelyanychev, Diana Vishneva, Philippe Cassard, Alexandre Lazarev, Gaik Kazazyan, Lukas Geniushas, Richard Young, Valentin Uriupin, Itamar Zorman, and many others. He has recorded numerous disks with compositions of Chopin, Schumann, Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Shostakovich, and he has given masterclasses in the USA, Russia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Korea, Brazil, and Japan.


 In 2005 he became a merited artist of the Russian Federation.


For more than 25 years Nersessian has been assisting his teacher, professor S. Dorensky. He has worked with such talented pupils as Nikolai Lugansky, Denis Matsuev, Olga Kern, Zlata Chochieva, Pavel Kolesnikov and many others. Nersessian served as a jury member in many international piano competitions: Dublin, Hamamatsu, Sendai, Maria Canals in Barcelona, Hilton Head, Almaty, Valencia, Tbilisi and other competitions.


In 2013 he started to work as a professor of piano in Boston university, in 2022 as a professor of piano in New England Conservatory.


Recent recitals of Nersessian include chamber programmes with violinists Kirsti Kuusk, Garry Levinson, Daniil Kogan as well as singers Ilya Silchukou and Julia Lezhneva.


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