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MAGDALENA KOŽENÁ was born in Brno, studied at the Brno Conservatoire and continued her studies with Eva Blahová at the College of Performing Arts of Bratislava, graduating in 1995. She was awarded several major prizes in both the Czech Republic and internationally (culminating in the 6th International Mozart Competition in Salzburg in 1995). In 1996/97 she was a member of the Vienna Volksoper and in 1998 she sang Paride in Gluck's Paride ed Elena in her debut at the Drottningholm Festival.
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 (Dvorák, Janácek and Martinu 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 Myslivecek (with the Prague Philharmonia and Michel Swierczewski), of French arias with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Minkowski, Gluck's Paride ed Elena under McCreesh, a recital disc with Malcolm Martineau and an acclaimed disc of cantatas by members of the Bach family (Lamento) with Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel. She was 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 Châtelet, 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 Pelleas et Melisande 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 Rattle), Cherubino for both the Bavarian State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera (with Levine), Dorabella with Rattle (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 Theâtre des Champs Elysées 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.