Czech opera singer receives prestigious British award

By Vladimir Tax

The leading Czech opera singer Magdalena Kozena has received the prestigious British Gramophone Award for her rendition of love songs by the famous Czech composers Antonin Dvorak, Leos Janacek and Bohuslav Martinu. Kozena is the first Czech soloist to receive the award, which was first presented 25 years ago by the British music magazine Gramophone. The magazine's critics praised the exceptional beauty of her mezzo-soprano, which is said to be in its prime at the moment.

Kozena studied at the Brno conservatory and the Academy of Music in Bratislava - in neighbouring Slovakia - and soon became a world-famous opera singer. Her numerous achievements include a first-place in the W. A. Mozart singing competition in Salzburg, and several awards for her wholehearted renditions of Bach's music, such as the Czech "Golden Harmony Award", French "L´Academie du Disque Lyrique", and the German "Echo" award. Magdalena Kozena says that being a Czech singer, she wants to do her best to promote her country's music.