Kagan-Paley was born in Gomel, Belarus. As a child, he studied violin and piano. In 1976, he won the first television and radio competition for young performers in Minsk, as a singer. Kagan-Paley continued his violin studies at the Belarusian State Conservatory, and, in 1987, began singing at the Belarusian Academic Capella. That same year he made his debut as a soprano soloist in Schumann's Requiem with the Leningrad Philharmonic. Two years later, Dr. Irina Antonova, director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, invited Kagan-Paley to give a recital there, and this resulted in several engagements including The Vienna State Opera, various recordings and television appearances. The talents of the young singer were greatly appreciated by Leonard Bernstein who, after meeting him in St. Petersburg in the summer of 1989, planned to arrange joint performances; unfortunately, the Maestro's untimely death put an end to these plans.
Kagan-Paley was awarded a grant by the Oppenheimer Charitable Trust, and from 1989 to 1992 he completed the post-diploma vocal training course under Professor David Pollard at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In 1993, he completed the Opera Course and he attended Masterclasses with Graham Johnson and Geoffrey Parsons. His opera debut, in 1992, as Oberon in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Guildhall was greeted with great public and critical acclaim.
Karan-Paley's international career started in 1993 when he performed the role of Joan of Arc in the world premiere of Arms for the Maid for the Royal Opera House Garden Venture. Since then, he has given recitals in Russia, the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom. In Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary, he sang the role of The Witch in the opera Rapunzel by Lou Harrison, with the Prague Mozart Foundation. He has been a guest performer at the Normandy Music Festival in France, the "December Nights" Festivals in Moscow with the Moscow Soloists and Yuri Bashmet and the St. Petersburg Seasons Festival. His collaboration with the distinguished Russian pianist, Boris Beresovsky, resulted in a series of concerts in Russia, Japan and England.
Kagan-Paley made his second recording in 1993, Vivaldi's Nisi Dominus and Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with the Vivaldi Orchestra, conducted by S.Bezrodnaya and Y.Bashmet (viola solo) on the Olimpia label. He signed an exclusive recording contract with Victor Entertainment ( JVC Japan ) and embarked upon his first Japanese concert tour to promote his album Ave Maria,which sold 250000 copies in three months and became Number One selling classical CD in Japan. His third CD, Vocalise, won the Japan Grand Prix as "Album of the Year" in 1997. At the end of 1997 Kagan-Paley and Boris Berezovsky made their debut at the Samtory Hall in Tokyo.
In 1999, Karan-Paley was invited by the Opera de Lyon to sing the role of Masha in the World Premiere of Eotos's Three Sisters conducted by.Nagano and recorded live by Deutsche Gramophone. In the same year, he sang the title role of Tolomeo in Nandel's Tolomeo, King of Egypt at Broomhill Opera.
Kagan-Paley has completed 10 Japanese tours, and in 2003 sang the main role of a Japanese Princess in the World Premiere Avi Ben-Shabtai's opera Damascus Drum in Israel. His voice can be heard in many documentaries and commercials, while his interpretation of Caccini's Ave Maria was used as the sound track for the movie One More Kiss. He has performed in many events including Emma Chaplin Show in Caesarea as well as many charities, including cancer research( UK ), victims of terrorist attacks in Israel and the Paralympics in Tokyo.
In 2005, Kagan-Paley celebrated the 10th anniversary of his work in Japan with a tour and appeared in a NHK televised Christmas special with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.From 2005-2010, he gave recitals in Europe, Japan and the Middle East. He made his new recording for Sone Epic (Japan ), a debut at Blue Note (Nagoya ) with a new,predominantly jazz repertoire. He was an invited guest at National Opera in Beijing. In 2011, Kagan-Paley started with a new programme recital at Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
- Slava Kagan-Paley, countertenor (LP): live recital from Astrachan Philarmonia Hall, Melodia C10 30435,1989
- A.Vivaldi: Nisi Dominus/ G.B.Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga MK 417107,1993
- Ave Maria,Fonovox VOX 7919-2,1995
- Ave Maria,Victor Entertainment VICP-5640,1995
- Due Impressione,Victor Entertainment VICP-15056,1995
- Vocalise,Victor Entertainment VICP-5782,1996
- Air,Victor Entertainment VICP-12012,1996
- A.Vivaldi: Nisi Dominus/G.B.Pergolesi: Stabat Mater,Olimpia OCD 583,1997
- Nightingale and Rose (romances by Tchaikovsky,Borodin,Rimsky-Korsakov,Mussorgsky,Rachmaninov,Medtner with B.Berezovsky), Victor Entertainment VICC-6033,1997
- Lullaby,Victor Entertainment VICP-60143,1997
- Peter Eotvos : Trois Soeurs, Deutsche Grammophon ( DGG ) 459 694-2,1998
- Ave Maria,Jastin Time JTR 8479-2,1998
- Somewhere,Polidor POCH-1787,1999
- Best of SLAVA. Ottimo,Victor Entertainment VICP-60890,1999
- kitaro.Nile,BMG BVCP 29027,2000
- Laudate,Polidor UPCH-1016,2000
- One Wish,Polidor UPCH-1020,2000
- The Concert: Recital at Tokyo Opera City,Polidor UPCH-1058,2001
- The Very Best,Polidor UPCH-1077,2001
- Trinity,Victor Entertainment VICP-61616,2001
- Beautiful,Victor Entertainment VICP-62483,2003
- Slava Best,Victor Entertainment VICP-45023,2009
- The Voice,Warner Music Japan Inc.,2013
- SLAVA,Victor Entertainment VIBP-10,200
- Giles, Peter (1982). The Countertenor. Muller Publishing Co.