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Classical BRIT Awards

12 May 2010

One of opera’s youngest rising stars studying at the International Academy of Voice at Cardiff University will make her debut performance at the Classical BRIT Awards 2010.

20-year-old Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva will join the biggest selling artists in classical music to perform at the ceremony on Thursday 13 May 2010.

Held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the Awards were established in 2000 and recognise the outstanding achievements of classical musicians and the growth of classical music sales in the UK. They have proved their vital importance to the UK music industry with the huge impact the event has on record sales of those artists performing, winning and nominated.

At the event, Julia will star alongside Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel and choir Only Men Aloud and also the Academy’s Honorary President Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who will be introducing Julia as her protégé. As part of the evening, Dame Kiri will herself be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement in Music Award.

Academy director Dennis O’Neill said: "We at the International Academy of Voice at Cardiff University are delighted that our President Dame Kiri te Kanawa has chosen to present Julia as her protégé. It will launch Julia’s career on a global level and we are proud that our work here is also being recognised as the institution to have contributed to the advanced preparation and development of this new world-class artist."

Julia graduated with a distinction from Gretchaninov Music School in Russia and has been studying at the University’s International Academy of Voice for the last year. She has won many awards including the Russian ‘Triumph’ award for her contribution to art and culture.

The Academy provides professional level training to some of the most exciting talent in international opera. A series of master-classes and workshops given by eminent figures in the operatic world enable the students to perfect their vocal techniques and fulfil their global performance potential.

The Awards will be broadcast on ITV 1 on Tuesday 18 May at 10.35pm.


Notes to editors

1. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

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