The award-winning Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva was born in 1989 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. She began playing the piano and singing at the age of five. In 2004 Julia graduated with distinction from the Gretchaninov Junior Music School in Moscow. In July 2008 she received an honours degree in vocal studies and a piano diploma from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory Academic Music College. Between September 2008 and April 2010 Julia has been studying with the tenor Dennis O’Neill at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice. Julia made successful debut at the 2010 Classical Brit Awards, singing Rossini’s Fra il padre at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2010 she won the First Paris International Opera Competition held at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. Despite her youth, Julia has a huge and widely diverse repertoire, ranging from baroque and belcanto styles to romantic and contemporary music.