The Russian soprano, Julia Lezhneva, was born into a family of geophysicists. She began playing the piano and singing at the age of five. In 2004 she graduated with distinction from the Gretchaninov Music School; between the ages of 14 and 18 she continued her vocal and piano studies at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. In 2008 she received an honours degree for her vocal studies and a diploma for piano. In September 2008 she began studying with the tenor Dennis O'Neill at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice. She has attended master-classes with Elena Obraztsova in St Petersburg in 2007, and with Alberto Zedda at the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro in 2008.
At the age of 12 Julia Lezhneva began to take part in vocal competitions and festivals. She won the Grand Prix at both of Elena Obraztsova's international competitions, the first Competition for Young Singers (2006) and the sixth Competition for Young Opera Singers (2007), in which she also won the Spectators' Award. She made her debut in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with W.A. Mozart's Requiem, with the Moscow Virtuosi conducted by Vladimir Minin. Since then, she has increasingly been in demand around the world, both on the concert platform and the opera stage.
Julia Lezhneva has given solo recitals in the Great Halls of both the St Petersburg Philharmonic Society and the Moscow Conservatory. She has also appeared in concerts in the St Petersburg Conservatory, and took part in the Elena Obraztsova Gala Performance at the Bolshoi Theatre, with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra conducted by Giuliano Carella.
Last year Julia Lezhneva gave solo performances in Tokyo, at the invitation of Musashino Cultural Foundation, and in Kosice, Slovakia, at the invitation of tenor Peter Dvorský. She also took part in a joint concert with the Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flores as part of the Rossini Opera Festival 2008 in Pesaro, under the baton of the leading Rossini interpreter Albert Zedda. Julia also performed the soprano solo in J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232) in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and recorded it with Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble conducted by Marc Minkowski.
Julia Lezhneva's repertoire includes works by Antonio Vivaldi, Riccardo Broschi, W.A. Mozart, J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel, Rossini, Bellini, Alessandro Scarlatti, Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Charpentier, Gretchaninov, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninov.
In 2008 she was given the independent Russian 'Triumph' award for her contribution to culture and art.