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Encore Series:Magdalena Kožená and Private Musicke

Venue Date & Time Price
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$480, $370, $260, $150

‘the beauty and flexibility of Kožená’s voice perfectly complemented by Private Musicke’s intimate yet colourfully extrovert accompaniments.’  International Record Review (London)

‘It’s a rare recital that can be at one and the same time intensely intimate and extravagantly exuberant’  Opera Today


The Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená quickly made her name after her operatic début in the early 1990s, appearing in all the leading opera houses of Europe and collaborating with many of the most distinguished orchestras and conductors in the concert hall.  While Kožená has recently extended her operatic repertoire to include roles such as Carmen and Mélisande, she has long enjoyed distinction as an interpreter of Baroque and Classical operas, and particularly of Gluck and Mozart.  She has also won fame for her interpretation of songs, and two of her song recital discs have won Gramophone Awards.  In 2009 she released a CD with a title ‘Lettere Amorose’ (Love Letters), a collection of early Italian Baroque songs, partnered by the distinguished period ensemble Private Musicke under the direction of the early music expert Pierre Pitzl.  Now she makes her long-awaited Hong Kong début with her acclaimed programme of ‘Love Letters’, bringing with her to Hong Kong Private Musicke and Pierre Pitzl.

Lettere Amorose

‘A simple song can be deep, too - this music speaks to everyone’    Magdalena Kozéna


O bei lumi


Cruda Amarilli


Odi Euterpe, il dolce canto


Caravanda Ciacona


Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna




Torna il sereno Zefiro


Con le Stelle in Ciel




Sì dolce è il tormento


Toccata Arpeggiata


Aurilla mia


Ma ché? Squallido e oscuro


Felici gl'animi




L’Eraclito amoroso




Folle è ben chi si crede


Quel sguardo sdegnosetto


About the Performer

Magdalena Kožená (Mezzo-soprano)

Private Musicke: Pierre Pitzl (Artistic Leader, Guitar, Viola de gamba)

                          Daniel Pilz (Colascione)

           Hugh James Sandilands (Guitar)

           Jesús Fernández Baena (Theorbo)

           Richard Lee Myron (Violone)

           Francisco José Montero Martinez (Lira da gamba)

           Marc Clos (Percussion)


Magdalena Kožená                                       

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, a recital disc with Malcolm Martineau Songs my Mother taught me and Lettere Amorose an album of early Italian and Spanish baroque with the ensemble Private Musicke.  Her most recent release Love and Longing includes works by Mahler, Ravel and Dvorak with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle. Her recording of Carmen was released by EMI Classics in the summer of 2012.  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 Martinů 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 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 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.


Private Musicke

Private Musicke is a consort of viols, on one hand, a consort of plucked instruments - primarily guitars and lutes - on the other, and, sometimes, it is both.  In combination with singers and additional instrumentalists a myriad of instrumental settings presents itself: each project the ensemble undertakes has a unique sound concept, each leaves the listener amazed once again by the ensemble's compelling arrangements and extensive repertoire.  Of course, improvisation also plays a vital role.  The members of the ensemble specialize in early music and hail from many different European countries.  All have broad experience both as soloists and ensemble members at their command. The name ‘Private Musicke’ is taken from a collection of consort music by the English composer Martin Peerson from the year 1620.  Since its founding in 1998, the ensemble, under the direction of Pierre Pitzl, has appeared at various European early music festivals (Resonanzen Wien, Lucerne Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Festwochen Innsbruck, Helsinki Festival, London Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebow, Berlin Kammerphilharmonie a.o.).  So far, seven CDs for the ORF Edition ‘Alte Musik’ and the German label ACCENT have been released; they have been distinguished with critical acclaim and international prizes.  The most recent CD Lettere Amorose with the mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozéna was released in 2010 by Deusche Grammophon.


Pierre Pitzl

Pierre Pitzl studied guitar and lute at the Wiener Musikhochschule with Walter Würdinger, and at the Schola Cantorum, Basel, with jürgen Hübscher, Eugen Dombois and Hopkinson Smith.  He studied viola da gamba with Wieland Kuijken and Christophe Coin.  Pierre Pitzl is active as a soloist with and as a member of various ensembles.  He teaches viola da gamba at the Vienna Conservatory.servatory.


Tickets available from 29 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Telephone Credit Card Booking.

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).

‘Great Music’ Package Discount

For each purchase of standard tickets for 'Sing Brother Sing by Tian Haojiang', 'Violin Recital by Kyung-Wha Chung' and 'Madgalena Kožená and Private Musicke': 5% off for any 2 programmes; 10% off for all 3 programmes.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase. Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

Programme Length

Running time of this performance is about 1 hour and 10 minutes with no intermission.

Audiences are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until a suitable break in the programme.


Programme Enquiries:2268 7321

Ticketing Enquiries:2734 9009

Telephone Credit Card Booking:2111 5999

Internet Booking:www.urbtix.hk

The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.

Programme Note

10 Nov
10 Nov

Pre-concert Talks

The Italian Love Letters of Magdalena Kožená (1600-1700)

Speaker: Chan Siu-kwan
(Soprano, Music Educator)

Free admission on a first-come-first-served basis

Venue Date & Time Price
Foyer Reception Area, 4/F, Auditoria Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Free Admission


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