Magdalena Kožená was born in Brno, studied at the Brno Conservatoire and with Eva Blahová at the College of Performing Arts in Bratislava. She was awarded several major prizes in both the Czech Republic and internationally, culminating in the 6th International Mozart Competition in Salzburg in 1995.
She is an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon for whom she has just released Lettere Amorose. Her first solo recital disc of Dvorak, Janacek and Martinu won the Gramophone Solo Vocal Award, 2001. Recent recordings with DG include Mozart, Gluck and Myslivecek arias with the Prague Philharmonia and Michel Swierczewski; French arias with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Minkowski; Gluck’s Paride ed Elena with the Gabrieli Consort and McCreesh; an acclaimed disc of cantatas by members of the Bach family (Lamento) with Musica Antiqua Koeln and Reinhard Goebel, a Mozart album with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Sir Simon Rattle, a Handel disc and a Vivaldi disc with the Venice Baroque and Andrea Marcon and a recital disc with Malcolm Martineau Songs my Mother taught me. The most recent release Lettere Amorose is an album of early Italian and Spanish baroque with the ensemble Private Musicke. She was the 2004 Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year and in 2009 she received a Gramophone Award for her recording of the Julietta Fragments by Bohuslav Martinu with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
Magdalena Kožená is well established as a major concert and recital artist. Recital appearances have taken her to London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg, Lisbon, Prague, Copenhagen, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. She has also appeared at the Munich, Salzburg, Lucerne, Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Aldeburgh and Edinburgh festivals. Her pianists include Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Malcolm Martineau, Andras Schiff and Dame Mitsuko Uchida.
Her concert appearances include the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra with Claudio Abbado, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Sir Charles Mackerras and Robin Ticciati, the Wiener Philharmoniker with Daniel Harding and Sir Simon Rattle; the Accademia Santa Cecilia with Myung-Whun Chung and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela with Gustavo Dudamel.
Operatic engagements have included Octavian Der Rosenkavalier, Mélisande Pelleas et Melisande and Lazuli L’Etoile for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin; Gluck's Orphée with Gardiner in Paris; Nerone (L’Incoronazione di Poppea) with Minkowski in Vienna; Mélisande in Paris with both Bernard Haitink and Marc Minkowski; Cherubino in Aix-en-Provence and Munich; Sesto (Giulio Cesare) in Amsterdam. At the Salzburg Festivals her roles have included Carmen with Rattle, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Harnoncourt, Idamantes with Norrington and Rattle and Dorabella with Rattle. At the Metropolitan Opera she has sung Melisande with Rattle, Varvara (Katja Kabanova) with Belohlavek and Cherubino, Dorabella and Idamantes with Levine and for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden she has sung the title role of La Cenerentola.
In 2003 she was awarded the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.