Valerija Iljin

Valerija Iljin is a Lithuanian spinto soprano of Ukrainian descent currently studying with Marcus van den Akker and Janet Haney on a postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music, generously funded by the academy's scholarship. In 2023 she graduated Bachelor of Music (performance) with first-class honours from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she studied with Joan Rodgers CBE and was a Morag Noble scholar. Recently Valerija became a finalist in Hans Gabor Belvedere competition, won the Isabel Jay Memorial Prize, IIIrd Medici Prize and made her Carnegie Hall recital debut as a winner at the Laureate Gala by Progressive Musicians and was awarded a special prize by James Adler. She was a young artist at Manhattan Opera Studio and performed the 1st Lady (Mozart, Zauberflöte) at Opera America in New York City; she also took part in the MOS Gala at the Carnegie Weill Recital Hall. Valerija was a semi-finalist of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards 2023 and a runner-up of the Clara Schumann lieder competition, has performed with various orchestras, including the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Trimitas Orchestra, Panevezys musical theatre symphony orchestra, ‘Kaunas big band’, Belarus state symphony orchestra, the Polish National symphony orchestra and others. In 2019 Valerija was awarded a bachelor's degree in theatre studies from Vilnius College and London College of Music; she has also studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. In May 2021, Valerija developed the roles of Susanna and Emma in Mussorgsky’s opera‘ Khovanschina’ (Bolshoi Theatre), working with the Complicité creative team: Simon McBurney OBE, Gerard McBurney and Leah Hausman. In 2022 Valerija was announced the winner of the Roy Pleasance Competition 21-22, was announced ''Musical Odyssey' Prize Winner in both 2022 and 2023. Attended masterclasses, studied and worked with Lauren Flanigan, Elizabeth Blancke – Biggs, Kamal Khan, Michael Recchiuti, Darrel Babidge, Mitchell Cirker, Janice Baird, Donata D’Annunzio Lombardi, Roger Malouf, Lewis Ehlers, Sandra Hermozi, Keith Chambers, Yvonne Howard, David Cowan, Geraldine Cassidy, Beatrice Penzi, Carmen Santoro, Sergei Leiferkus, Manolis Papasifakis, Ubaldo Fabbri, Dr Pantelis Polychronidis, Alison Wells, Nomeda Kazlaus, Kristian Benedikt, Asmik Grigorian, Susan Bullock and others. As a recognized artist in Lithuania, she was invited to take part in a special inauguration concert of the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, in 2019.

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‘I must admit - this voice is one of the very best that we have at the moment, with no question‘

Nomeda Kazlaus, soprano, primadona, TV host

‘You are a discovery, believe me’ 

Gintaras Rinkevičius, Founder, artistic director and chief conductor of the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra

‘It is a very rich and expensive voice, a very promising voice’ 

Janet Haney, pianist, coach, Royal Academy of Music

‘You are a true discovery to us, how rare it is to meet an opera singer who can act and live on stage.’ 

Leah Hausman, movement director, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House etc.