|1976 - present|
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 specially for her, including ones by Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutos?awski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Previn, Wolfgang Rihm, and John Williams.
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, studying with Erna Honigberger, a pupil of Carl Flesch. After Honigberger's death she continued her studies with Aida Stucki at the Winterthur Conservatory.
After winning several prizes, Mutter was exempted from school to dedicate herself to music full-time. At age 13, she was invited by Herbert von Karajan to play with the Berlin Philharmonic, and she made her public debut on stage in 1976 at the Lucerne Festival, playing Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major. In 1977, she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival and with the English Chamber Orchestra under 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.
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 Lutos?awski'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".
She owns two Stradivarius violins (The Emiliani of 1703, and the Lord Dunn-Raven Stradivarius of 1710), a Finnigan-Klaembt dated 1999, and a Regazzi dated 2005. Mutter does not use a shoulder rest when playing; her need for traction with the violin has also led her to wear the same style of strapless dresses. Her first concert dresses were from Chanel. From there, she added Givenchy to her closet and then John Galliano of Dior, until his anti-Semitic outburst in 2011 caused her to cut ties. She currently wears dresses by British couturier Nicholas Oakwell.
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 have continued to collaborate musically and maintained their friendship.
Yes, yes, I said it. It is my plan to stop when I reach my 45th birthday.
Every tragedy, or every really wonderful moment in your life, changes you as a person, and hopefully makes you a better person, more sensible, more sensitive, more caring -- more thankful for life.