Birth: Jun 29, 1963 in Germany
Genre: Concerto, Chamber Music
One of the most charismatic and best-loved violinists of modern times, Germany's Anne-Sophie Mutter began her studies on the piano at the age of five. She shortly added violin lessons with Erna Hornigberger. In 1970 and again in 1974, she won first place in the Jugend Musiziert contest for young musicians. Herbert von Karajan heard her play at the age of 13 and paved the way for her international career. This began in 1977 with appearances at the Salzburg Festival and with her English debut under Daniel Barenboim. The next year, 1978, she made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and released her first recording, of the Mozart Third and Fifth Concertos. In 1980, she debuted in America under Zubin Mehta, then made her first Carnegie Hall recital appearance in 1988. In spite of a difficult personal life (she lost her husband in 1995, leaving her with two small children to care for), Mutter has accelerated an already successful career to the level of super-stardom. She is currently one of the most sought after violinists and her recordings are always eagerly awaited best sellers.
Mutter is best known for her rich tone and her impassioned and exciting performances of the classic violin repertory, but she has also been instrumental in commissioning and performing new works for the violin. Among the composers she has worked with are Wolfgang Rihm, Sebastian Currier, Norbert Moret, Witold Lutoslawski, and Krzysztof Penderecki. Both before and, for a time, after Mutter's marriage to septuagenarian conductor Andre Previn in 2002, the pair performed and recorded together frequently. In September 2006, the couple quietly announced their divorce, and in October 2006 Mutter announced that she would be retiring from the concert stage on her 45th birthday in June 2008.
- Steven Coburn (All Music Guide)
Anne-Sophie Mutter began her international career in 1977 as soloist at the Salzburg Whitsun Concerts directed by Herbert von Karajan. Equally in demand as soloist and chamber music partner, Anne-Sophie Mutter has been playing since at all major music centres in Europe, the USA and Asia.
The year 2002 begins for the artiste with recordings for a new CD of works by Gershwin, Brahms, Previn, Faure and Kreisler, followed by a trio tour through Germany and Switzerland. Together with the cellist Lynn Harrell and the pianist Lambert Orkis, the concerts consist of piano trios by Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelsohn Bartholdy.
Special importance is attached to the subsequent concerts in Boston when Sir Andre Previn's violin concerto commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra is being performed for the first time.
This is followed in April by a tour through Europe with the Camerata Academica Salzburg under the MOZART VIOLIN CYCLE directed by the soloist.
A further first performance of Henri Dutilleux's violin concerto is due to take place in London under Maestro Masur with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Then follows a European tour with Sir Andre Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra. The programme includes, among others, Korngold's violin concerto, as well as the Bernstein serenade. These concerts will then be recorded for a CD.
Special significance is attached to the performances in August of the Mozart Cycle in Salzburg with the Vienna Philharmonic, when the artiste will once again assume the overall musical direction.
In September Anne-Sophie Mutter opens the concert season in Paris with Tchaikowsky's violin concerto opus 35 and the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.
This is followed in October by a recital tour in nine different cities of the USA.
The year terminates for the violinist with a European tour with the London Symphony Orchestra under the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Berg's violin concerto.
In consideration of her numerous recordings, Anne-Sophie Mutter has been awarded, among other things, the "German Record Prize", the "Record Academy Prize", the "Grand Prix du Disque", the "International Record Prize" and the "Edison Award".
The recording of Penderecki's 2nd violin concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer was issued in January 1998. This world first performance of the concerto dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter and directed by the composer won in 1999 the up to then unique distinction with two "Grammy Awards" as the "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance With Orchestra" and as the "Best Classical Contemporary Composition". Her live recording of the Beethoven sonatas on the occasion of the world tour in 1998, which was awarded in February 2000 the "Grammy Award for Chamber Music Performance", was followed in 1999 by the new recording of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons". The artiste was awarded the Danish "SONNING PRIZE" in February 2001.
A new Beethoven CD will be issued in the autumn 2001 which was recorded live in September 2001 at two Beethoven concerts in New York with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
The artiste is particularly interested in contemporary violin literature. Witold Lutoslawski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, Wolfgang Rihm and Sebastian Currier and Andre Previn have dedicated works to her. Further first performances of music by Pierre Boulez, Sebastian Currier and Sofia Gubaidulina are being prepared.
In 1987 Anne-Sophie Mutter set up the Rudolf Eberle Foundation which promotes young string instrumentalists throughout Europe. This Foundation was joined in the autumn 1997 by the Circle of Friends of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation located in Munich, which is active all over the world.
Anne-Sophie Mutter is keenly interested in work on medical and social problems of our times. She assists these concerns by regular benefit concerts. In February 2002 such a concert is due to take place at Neuwied for the benefit of the Joanniter Day Clinic for Child and Youth Psychiatry. A further such concert is planned in Bonn in July whose net proceeds are due to benefit the Beethoven House.
Anne-Sophie Mutter has been awarded the Federal Merit Cross 1st Class, the Bavarian Merit Medal and the Merit Medal of the State of Baden-Wurttemberg. She was awarded only recently the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art.
In January 2002 the artiste was awarded the "Bayerische Maximiliansorden fur Wissenschaft und Kunst" and the "Kulturelle Ehrenpreis der Landeshauptstadt Munchen".