Born in Moscow, Dolukhanova initially trained as a pianist and a violinist but began studying singing at the Gnessin Institute (an elite music school second only to the Moscow Conservsatory) while still in her teens. She made her operatic debut in 1938 as Siebel in Faust in a performance in Yerevan, Armenia, and remained there for three years singing minor roles in the local company.
Following her return to Moscow in 1944, she became a popular soloist with All-Union Radio, deploying her robust, agile mezzo in broadcasts of concerts and operas performances. Throughout the late 1950s, she was a frequent and featured soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic, performing repertoire – Handel, Haydn, Rossini, Meyerbeer and arie antiche, in particular – little known during the country’s Communist era. A bel canto specialist, she received particular acclaim for her performances as the heroines in Italiania in Algeri and La Cenerentola. After 1963, she began to take on soprano roles, including Norma, Aida, Tosca and Cio-Cio-San. Dolukhanova is also credited with performing the Russian premieres of Strauss’s Four Last Songs and Suor Angelica.
For a Soviet singer, Dolukhanova also toured a great deal, traveling to give concerts in England, France, Scandinavia and Latin America. Her acclaimed U.S. debut came in 1959, in New York, and she returned in 1970 for another successful tour.
In 1970, she began a lengthy teaching stint as part of the faculty of the Gnessin Institute. She died in Moscow at age 89.