Born in the Czech city of Brno, Magdalena Kožená studied voice and piano at the Brno Conservatory and at Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts. Magdalena signed as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist in 1999 and released her first album of Bach arias on its Archiv label. Her recital debut recording of songs by Dvořák, Janáček and Martinů followed in 2001 – the same year she was honoured with Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award.
She was named Artist of the Year by Gramophone in 2004 and has since received numerous other prestigious awards, including the Echo Klassik, Record Academy Prize Tokyo, and Diapason d’or. In 2017, Magdalena forged a long-term relationship with Dutch classical music label Pentatone and has since released 3 recordings, the most recent of which is a collaboration with Yefim Bronfman entitled ‘Nostalgia’ (August 2021).
During her career, Magdalena has worked with the world’s leading conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Roger Norrington. Her list of distinguished recital partners includes the pianists Daniel Barenboim, Malcolm Martineau, András Schiff and Mitsuko Uchida, with whom she has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh and Salzburg festivals. She is also in demand as soloist with the Berlin, Vienna and Czech Philharmonics, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras.
Magdalena bookends her 2022/23 season with two European piano recital tours: firstly with Yefim Bronfman at Edinburgh, Merano and Helsinki Festivals, Philharmonie Essen, Musikfest Berlin and Schloss Elmau and later with Mitsuko Uchida in Antwerp, Dortmund, Budapest and Prague Spring Festival. She re-joins her friends at Venice Baroque Orchestra for a concert tour of South America, performing a programme inspired by Handel’s Alcina and looks forward to reviving the role of Varvara (Káťa Kabanová) in concert with the London Symphony Orchestra and returning to Mozartwoche Salzburg in a semi-staged performance of Don Giovanni.
On the opera stage, Magdalena returns to the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin for Idamante (Idomeneo) and makes her operatic debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceu as Ottavia (Poppea). She also makes her much anticipated role debut in the title role of Alcina with Les Musiciens du Louvre in a tour to Paris, Hamburg, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
Magdalena was appointed a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2003 for her services to French music.