Soloists » Katja Zhylevich, mezzo-soprano

Katja ZhylevichKatja Zhylevich began piano lessons at the age of 4 in her home city of Minsk, Belarus. She attended a music school from 1987 to 1995, with piano as her main instrument, and where she also sung in the choir. When she was 15 she began to take classical singing lessons.

In 1998 she entered the Minsk State Linguistic University to study Germanic languages and linguistics for five years. During this period she continued her musical studies privately. After graduating from university she studied at the Belarusian State Academy of Music from 2004 to 2006, while working as a language teacher at the Belarusian State University and as a Russian/Swedish interpreter.

In 2006 there was a major change in Katja’s life when she received a prestigious grant from the Swedish Institute to do a year’s course at Stockholm University. Once in Sweden, Katja thought more and more about devoting herself wholeheartedly to music, in order to experience the life she had once rejected when she decided to study linguistics at university. Katja knew that to realise her musical dreams she would have to concentrate full time on her singing. Her grant was extended for a further year and she continued her studies at Stockholm University on an advanced course in Bilingualism at the Centre for Bilingual studies. The same year however she applied to read for a Bachelor’s degree in classical singing at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and was accepted onto the second year of the course. When a year later Katja was accepted as a student at the University College of Opera, her decision to devote herself music was no longer in question. Languages and linguistics now became a wonderful complement to her life as a singer.

At present Katja is in her final year at the University College of Opera. In 2010 year she made her debuts at Folkoperan in Stockholm, in a production of Kurt Weill’s Silbersee, and three months later at Drottningholms Slottsteater, as Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. This summer she will be performing another Mozart role at Drottningholm, Dorabella in the new production of Così fan tutte directed by Sigrid T’Hooft and conducted by Mark Tatlow.

Katja has received a number of musical awards, including scholarships from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, the Anders Sandrews and Ingemansson Foundations, and a grant from the Anders Wall Foundation.