Born in Hungary, Katalin Károlyi began her musical studies on the violin before studying singing with Noëlle Barker and Julia Hamari. She went on to set up the Studio Versailles Opéra with Rachel Yakar and René Jacobs. Since then she has concentrated on repertoire from baroque opera, chamber music and contemporary music. Katalin Károlyi has sung under the direction of conductors such as Yehudi Menuhin, William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Laurence Equilbey, Paul van Nevel, Peter Srottner, Bernard Tétu, Roland Hayrabedian, and David Robertson. In 2000 György Ligeti composed Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel for her and the Amadinda Percussion Group which was performed at Ostrava Days 2009. Since then, she regularly performs at both Ostrava Days and NODO festival.