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October 22, 2003
Magdalena Kozena gets lucky

While rootling about in various classical music websites for my Culture Blog, I came across this interesting little educational nugget, about and then from the now highly successful classical singer Magdalena Kozena:

Though she is now based in Paris, she first learnt her art in Czechoslovakia; first at the Brno Conservatory and later at the Bratislava College Of Performing Arts. She commented on how that grounding has served her over the years.

"Actually, I'm from a very lucky generation because I did all my studies during the socialist time and the education, I have to say, was really very good. It was very, very strict and difficult. Everything I learned and it was a lot I could use abroad because I was sixteen at the time of the Velvet Revolution and could go abroad immediately."

Sometimes everything just works out right.

It's been a irregular but regular theme here that the Eastern Europeans could really hit the big time in the next few years as educators, once the European Union really opens up.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 03:58 PM
Category: This and that


Sounds to me that what Ms Kozena was saying was that she did well thanks to compulsory state education.

Comment by: Tom on October 24, 2003 02:48 PM


Not quite. She was saying that she did well because she was lucky enough to get some good state education. As to how compulsory it was for her to do that particular version of it, I couldn't say. But in this respect she is no different from lots of state-educated children, who luck into some good teaching or who are smart enough to make the best of whatever teaching they get.

Good compulsory state education is better than bad compulsory state education. The former does not excuse the latter, which is what you sound as if you are trying to suggest. And as for the former, I like to think we can preserve all of its benefits without preserving its compulsoriness. After all, if it's so good, surely people will still want it. But unlike many critics of compulsoriness, I think that the benefits compulsory but good education are often very genuine.

But ask yourself this: how well are Ms Kozena's class-mates now doing? Not so well, I should guess.

Comment by: Brian Micklethwait on October 24, 2003 03:13 PM

Indeed, the right interpretation is that she was lucky to get this good state education, since I have known her in this time as her collegue from chorus for children. Since very young girl she was passionated, enthousiast and very talented. If she have chossen the musical education it is because she loved it !! I think that in fact she is speeking about her musical studies not about the normal school education.

Comment by: Yvona ROCHER on December 2, 2003 12:55 PM

Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.

Comment by: Richman Hannah on January 20, 2004 05:53 AM
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