Performance Saturday, February 23, 2013 | 8 PM

Magdalena Kožená
Yefim Bronfman

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The New York Times has called Magdalena Kožená “a true lyric mezzo-soprano voice, with dusky colorings that stem from her low register yet carry through into her shimmering high notes.” She’s joined on this program by the incomparable Yefim Bronfman.

The contemporary work on this program is part of My Time, My Music.


  • Magdalena Kožená, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Yefim Bronfman, Piano


  • MUSSORGSKY The Nursery
  • MARC-ANDRÉ DALBAVIE Three Melodies on a Poem of Ezra Pound (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • RAVEL Histoires naturelles
    ·· Le Paon
    ·· Le Grillon
    ·· Le Cygne
    ·· Le Martin-pêcheur
    ·· Le Pintade
  • RACHMANINOFF Songs, Op. 38
  • BARTÓK Dorfszenen

  • Encores:
  • SCHUMANN "Wehmut" from Liederkreis, Op.39
  • FAURÉ "Rêve d’amour," Op. 5, No. 2


  • Magdalena Kožená

    Magdalena Kožená was born in Brno. She studied at the Brno Conservatoire and with Eva Blahová at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. She was awarded several major prizes in both the Czech Republic and internationally, culminating in the Sixth International Mozart Competition in Salzburg in 1995.

    Ms. Kožená is an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon. Her first solo recital disc of Dvořák, Janáček, and Martinů won a Gramophone Award in 2001. Other recordings with Deutsche Grammophon include Mozart, Gluck, and Mysliveček arias with the Prague Philharmonia and Michel Swierczewski; French arias with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Marc Minkowski; Gluck's Paride ed Elena with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh; Lamento with Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel; an album of works by Mozart with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Sir Simon Rattle; a Handel disc and a Vivaldi disc with the Venice Baroque Orchestra and Andrea Marcon; a recital disc with pianist Malcolm Martineau; and Lettere Amorose with the ensemble Private Musicke. Her most recent release Love and Longing includes works by Mahler, Ravel, and Dvořák with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle. Her recording of Carmen was released by EMI Classics last summer. She was the 2004 Gramophone Artist of the Year and received another Gramophone Award in 2009 for her recording of Martinů's "Julietta" Fragments with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Ms. 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, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Aldeburgh, and Edinburgh festivals. Her colloaborators on piano have included Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, András Schiff, and Mitsuko Uchida.

    Her concert appearances include the Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, and The Philadelphia Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons; Lucerne Festival Orchestra with Claudio Abbado; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Sir Charles Mackerras and Robin Ticciati; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with Daniel Harding and Sir Simon Rattle; and Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela with Gustavo Dudamel.

    Operatic engagements have included Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Lazuli in L'étoile for the Berlin State Opera. At the Salzburg Festival, she has performed the title role in Carmen, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Idamantes in Idomeneo, and Dorabella in Così fan tutte. At the Metropolitan Opera, she has sung Mélisande, Varvara (Káťa Kabanová), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Dorabella, and Idamantes. For the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, she has sung the title role in La Cenerentola.

    In 2003, Ms. Kožená was awarded the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

    More Info

  • Yefim Bronfman

    Yefim Bronfman is widely regarded as one of the most talented virtuoso pianists performing today. His commanding technique and exceptional lyrical gifts have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide, whether for his solo recitals, his prestigious orchestral engagements, or his rapidly growing catalogue of recordings.

    Mr. Bronfman's 2012-2013 season began with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle in Berlin and Salzburg, and at the London Proms. These performances were followed by appearances with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and David Zinman, as well as London's Philharmonia and Tugan Sokhiev. A year-long residency with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and longtime collaborator Mariss Jansons also began last fall, encompassing orchestral and chamber music in a broad range of repertoire. A return to Salzburg's Easter Festival with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann is planned for this spring, followed by appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas in Vienna and London, subscription concerts in Spain and Germany, and a spring tour with Ensemble Wien-Berlin.

    Mr. Bronfman works regularly with an illustrious group of conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov, and Franz Welser-Möst. Summer engagements regularly take him to the major festivals of Europe and the US.

    Mr. Bronfman has also given numerous solo recitals in the leading halls of North America, Europe, and the Far East. In 1991, he gave a series of joint recitals with Isaac Stern in Russia, marking Mr. Bronfman's first public performances there since his emigration to Israel at age 15. That same year, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists. In 2010, he was honored as the recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from Northwestern University.

    Widely praised for his solo, chamber, and orchestral recordings, Mr. Bronfman was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 for his Deutsche Grammophon release of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Piano Concerto with Salonen conducting and with whom he won a Grammy in 1997 for his recording of the three Bartók piano concertos with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Most recently, his performance of Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto with Andris Nelsons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from the 2011 Lucerne Festival is now available on DVD, as is his performance of Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle. Other recent CD releases include Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, a recital disc that complemented his Perspectives residency at Carnegie Hall during the 2007-2008 season, and recordings of all the Beethoven piano concertos.

    Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union in 1958, Yefim Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the US, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro, and the Curtis Institute, and with Rudolf Firkušný, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin.

    Yefim Bronfman became an American citizen in July 1989.

    More Info


Dvořák's "Evening Songs"
Magdalena Kožená, Mezzo-Soprano | Radoslav Kvapil, Piano | Kocian Quartet

At a Glance

Magdalena Kožená and Yefim Bronfman's program draws on music from Eastern Europe (Russians Modest Mussorgsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Hungarian Béla Bartók), as well as music from France (Maurice Ravel and the contemporary Marc-André Dalbavie). Though the musical styles of these songs are as diverse as their composers, they share some characteristics. Principal among them is humor, both gentle and with a satirical edge. In The Nursery, Mussorgsky brilliantly captures the unconscious funniness of the way children look at the world. Ravel's little portraits in Histoires naturelles are sharply observed satires of human behavior in animal guise. And Bartók's Village Scenes are filled with the earthy humor of peasant life.

These songs also demonstrate a naturalistic, often speech-like approach to their vocal parts. The words here were of supreme importance to these five composers, and so the outpouring of the music had to be somewhat subordinated to their clear declamation. Mussorgsky was the master in this respect: The Nursery uncannily mimics the rhythm and cadence of a child's speech. Ravel copied the sounds and gaits of his animals, while Bartók was aided by his folksong material not to overdress the verse. While writing marvelously colorful piano music, Dalbavie is careful never to get in the way of his singer's delivery of the Ezra Pound poem. And even the arch-Romantic Rachmaninoff traded in his usual Russian effusiveness to convey the sensuous sounds of his poems with impressionistic delicacy.
Program Notes
Lead support for Carnegie Hall commissions is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Jean-Marie and Elizabeth Eveillard in support of the 2012-2013 season.
This performance is part of Great Artists II, and Vocal Trio.

Part of