Anne-Sophie Mutter

Intro German violinist
A.K.A. Anne Sophie Mutter
Is Musician Educator Violinist Music educator
From Germany
Type Academia Music
Gender female
Birth 29 June 1963, Rheinfelden (Baden), Germany
Star sign Cancer

Anne-Sophie Mutter (born 29 June 1963) is a German violinist. She was supported early in her career by Herbert von Karajan, and has had several works composed especially for her, by Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutosławski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Previn, Wolfgang Rihm, John Williams and others.

Early life

Mutter was born in the German town of Rheinfelden, which lies some 15 km East of Basel on the northern bank of the High Rhine river, across which lies the Swiss town of the same name. She began playing the piano at the age of five, and shortly afterwards took up the violin. Inspired by a recording of violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Wilhelm Furtwängler, she began studying with Erna Honigberger, a pupil of Carl Flesch. After Honigberger's death she continued her studies with Aida Stucki at the Winterthur Conservatory.

Career

Mutter's playing began to receive attention and she stopped attending school to devote herself full time to music. Conductor Herbert von Karajan arranged for her to play with the Berlin Philharmonic. Only 13 years old at the time, she made her public debut on stage in 1976 at the Lucerne Festival, where she played Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major. In 1977, she performed at the Salzburg Festival and with the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. At 15, Mutter made her first recording of the Mozart Third and Fifth violin concerti with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. In 1980, Mutter made her American debut with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. In 1985, at the age of 22, she was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Music (London) and head of its faculty of international violin studies and in 1986 an honorary member. In 1988, she made a grand tour of Canada and the United States, playing for the first time at Carnegie Hall. In 1998 she played and recorded for CD and DVD the complete set of Beethoven's Violin Sonatas, accompanied by Lambert Orkis; these were broadcast on television in many countries.

Repertoire

Though her repertoire includes many classical works, Mutter is particularly known for her performances of contemporary music. Several pieces have been specially written for or dedicated to her, including Henri Dutilleux's Sur le même accord, Krzysztof Penderecki's Second Violin Concerto, Witold Lutosławski's Chain 2 and the orchestral version of Partita, and Wolfgang Rihm's Gesungene Zeit ("Time Chant"), Lichtes Spiel, and Dyade. In August 2007, she premiered Sofia Gubaidulina's Violin Concerto No. 2 "In tempus praesens." She has received various prizes, including several Grammys. In October 2006, on French television, Mutter appeared to indicate that she would be retiring when she turned 45, in 2008. However the following month she said that her words were "misinterpreted" and that she would continue to play as long as she felt she could "bring anything new, anything important, anything different to music".

Appearance

Mutter is known for appearing on stage wearing elegant strapless gowns. Mutter found that fabric was too slippery to provide the traction that she needed while playing. She also received advice on her appearance from Karajan who insisted she have her hair styled and that she "go to Paris and get a decent dress". Around 18 years of age she purchased a few dresses (on sale) from Chanel and had them shortened: "That’s when my love for custom-made started". She has also worn Givenchy. She used to wear John Galliano of Dior, but severed ties after an "anti-Semitic outburst". She currently wears dresses by Nicholas Oakwell. Mutter prefers red, orange and green colors because they match her Stradivarius violin.

Instruments

She owns two Stradivarius violins: The Emiliani of 1703, and the Lord Dunn-Raven Stradivarius of 1710. She also owns a Finnigan-Klaembt dated 1999 and a Regazzi dated 2005. Discussing her Stradivariuses, Mutter has said: A Stradivari is always special as a piece of sublime craftsmanship, but what sets these instruments apart is their capacity to carry even the softest of pianissimos to the very last row of any hall. I particularly love the unlimited scope of colours my violin is able to show, as well as the tiger-like roaring G-string … It is the best instrument I could have, with its own personality. But it is sensitive to abrupt temperature changes—well, it is 300 years old.

Personal life

In 1989, Mutter married her first husband, Detlef Wunderlich, with whom she had two children, Arabella and Richard. Wunderlich died of cancer in 1995. She dedicated her 1999 recording, Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, to his memory. She married the pianist and conductor André Previn in 2002. The couple divorced in 2006, but continued to collaborate musically and maintained their friendship.

Awards and recognition

Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance: Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis for Beethoven: The Violin Sonatas (Nos. 1-3, Op. 12; Nos. 1-3, Op. 30; "Spring" Sonata) (2000) Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): Anne-Sophie Mutter and André Previn (conductor) for Previn: Violin Concerto "Anne-Sophie"/Bernstein: Serenade (2005) Anne-Sophie Mutter, Krzysztof Penderecki (conductor) and the London Symphony Orchestra for Penderecki: Violin Concerto No. 2, Metamorphosen (1999) Anne-Sophie Mutter, James Levine (conductor) and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Berg: Violin Concerto/Rihm: Time Chant (1994) Naming of Anne-Sophie-Mutter-Weg in Wehr, Baden-Württemberg (Eng: Anne-Sophie Mutter way) (27 August 1988) Order of Merit of Baden-Württemberg (1999) Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art (1999) Sonning Award (2001; Denmark) Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art (2002) Herbert von Karajan Music Prize (Baden-Baden, 2003) Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2005) Victoires de la Musique Classique (2006) Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (2007) Ernst von Siemens Music Prize (2008) Mendelssohn Prize (Music category) (Leipzig, 2008) Merit Cross 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse) (2009) Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur (France, 2009) for her commitment to the works of contemporary music by French Echo Klassik as Instrumentalist (2009) European St. Ulrichs Prize (July 2009) Doctor Honoris Causa from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (2010) Prize of the Cultural Foundation of Dortmund Brahms Prize (Brahms Society of Schleswig-Holstein, 2011) Atlantic Council Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award (2012) Bavarian Order of Merit Cultural Honour of the City of Munich Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music Erich Fromm Prize for her comprehensive social work (2011) Gustav Adolf Prize of Gustav-Adolf-Werk of the Evangelical Church in Hesse-Nassau for her socially diaconal commitment The Medal of the Lutosławski Centennial (January 25, 2013) Named a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (April 2013) Echo Klassik 2014 for the album 'Dvořák' Named an Honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford 11th Yehudi Menuhin Prize from the Foundation Albeniz (2016) Medalla de Oro al Merito en las bellas Artes (2016) Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis (2018) Polar Music Prize (2019) Praemium Imperiale (2019)

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