Breda Zakotnik was born in Maribor, Slovenia and studied in Ljubljana and Vienna, where she completed her studies with a piano concert diploma.
Masterclasses held by Yvonne Lefébure, Sándor Végh and Elisabeth Grümmer led to important musical encounters and to collaboration at further courses for chambermusic and Lied.
As Nikolaus Harnoncourt's assistant she focused on historical practice of interpretation of early music. Working with Burga Schwarzbach at Luzern had a significant influence on her work as a teacher.
Breda Zakotnik devotes herself particularly to the work of W.A. Mozart. She has given many performances on Mozart's fortepiano at his birthhouse and his residence. Some of these concerts have been recorded on CD.
Chambermusic and Lied are the main focus of Breda Zakotnik's work. Her partners include Heidi Litschauer, Gerhard Schulz, Yuuko Shiokawa, Arto Noras and Anner Bylsma, and she has accompanied Robert Holl, Peter Schreier, Alison Browner and Manuel Cid at international festivals like the Wiener Festwochen, Mozartwoche Salzburg, Festwochen Luzern, Musiktage Mondsee, Internationales Beethovenfest Bonn and has performed at major concert halls including the Semper Oper Dresden, Schauspielhaus Berlin, Concergebouw Amsterdam and the Palau de la musica Barcelona.
Breda Zakotnik was professor for Lied and Oratorio at the University Mozarteum Salzburg until 2015 and regularly gives masterclasses for Lied interpretation in Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Holland and Japan.
She is honorary member of the Hugo Wolf society Slovenj Gradec and jury member of the International Hugo-Wolf Competition for Lied in 2012.
"The aim of my pedagogical work at the Mozarteum is the developement of the students' artistic potential while studying the core of the masterpieces of Lied and Oratorio."