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A native of Vienna, mezzo-soprano Elisabeth von Magnus initially studied recorder at the Vienna Academy of Music. She founded the Ensemble Récréation and also played as a recorder soloist with the Concentus Musicus Wien. At the same time she enrolled in the drama course at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and studied voice with Hertha Töpper in Munich, completing vocal studies at the Munich Opera School. Since making her operatic debut as Polly in Benjamin Britten’s version of The Beggar’s Opera at the Marstall Theater in Munich, von Magnus has performed in almost every European country, the United States, and Japan, working with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Frans Brüggen, Ádám Fischer, Daniel Harding, Philippe Herreweghe, Neville Marriner, and Helmuth Rilling. She has sung the great oratorios of Bach and many of his cantatas with Ton Koopman and his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. Above all Elisabeth von Magnus regularly concertizes with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and performed in the summer of 2011 in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride at the Styriarte Festival and, in the fall of that year, in Beethoven’s C major Mass with the Berlin Philharmonic. As a lieder singer, she has partnered for several years with pianist Jacob Bogaart, performing a wide repertoire ranging from the baroque, classical, and romantic to Alban Berg and Kurt Weill. Her recordings include Shostakovich’s Seven Romances based on poems by Aleksandr Blok and Haydn’s English Canzonettas. Along with her appearances as a singer, Elisabeth von Magnus is involved with Austrian Radio as an announcer and as the presenter of her own series.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 27 March 1996 in a pair of arias from Haydn’s Il ritorno di Tobia led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.