Magdalena Kožená (b. 1973) is a Czech mezzo-soprano. She was born in Brno in 1973. After having studied at the Brno Conservatoire and at the College of Performing Arts in Bratislava, she graduated in 1995. In 1996-97 she was a member of the Vienna Volksoper.
Miss Kožená’s recordings include Bach arias, Handel’s Roman Motets and Italian Cantatas and “Messiah” with Marc Minkowski for DG/Archiv, and her first solo recital disc (Dvořák, Janáček and Martinů with Graham Johnson - Gramophone Solo Vocal Award, 2001) for Deutsche Grammophon, with whom she has signed an exclusive contract. Her most recent discs are recitals of arias of Mozart, Gluck and Mysliveček (with the Prague Philharmonia and Michel Swierczewski), of French arias with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Minkowski, Gluck’s “Paride ed Elena” under Paul McCreesh, a recital disc with Malcolm Martineau and an acclaimed disc of cantatas by members of the Bach family (“Lamento”) with Musica Antiqua Koeln and Reinhard Goebel. She is the 2004 Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year.
Magdalena Kožená is already established as a major concert and recital artist. Her recitals have taken her to London, the Schubertiade Schwazenberg, Brussels, Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Munich, Prague, Tokyo, Yokohama and Sapporo. Last season she appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, in San Francisco and in London, Brussels, Lisbon, Vienna, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Prague.
Her operatic engagements have included several notable debuts: at the Chatelet, Paris in the title role of Gluck's "Orphée" with John Eliot Gardiner; at the Vienna Festival as Nerone (“L'incoronazione di Poppea”) with Minkowski; at the Edinburgh Festival (Sesto in “La clemenza di Tito”); at the Leipzig Opera (Mélisande with Minkowski); at the Aix-en-Provence Festival as Cherubino; at the Netherlands Opera as Sesto (“Giulio Cesare”) and at the Salzburg Festival as Zerlina under Harnoncourt. She sang the centenary performance of “Pelléas et Mélisande” at the Opera Comique, Paris under Minkowski and most recently Cleopatra in “Giulio Cesare” under Minkowski.
Recent engagements include Idamantes at the Glyndebourne and Salzburg Festivals (with her husband the conductor Sir Simon Rattle), Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro for both the Bavarian State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera (with Levine), Dorabella in Mozarts Cosi fan tutte with Rattle conducting (Salzburg Easter Festival and in Berlin) and her return to the Metropolitan Opera as Varvara (“Katja Kabanova”) and Dorabella (with Levine). She sings Zerlina with the Metropolitan Opera and Levine in Japan, returns to the Salzburg Festival for Idamantes (with Norrington) and to the Theatre des Champs Elysees for Melisande (with Haitink).
In 2003 she was awarded the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. She participates on many significant recordings and appears regularly at the Prague Spring and at the Concentus Moraviae Festivals.
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