"Music is only touching when it tells a story. And I am on the track of upcoming story tellers," says Anne-Sophie Mutter about the foundation she brought to life. Thanks to the support of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, Daniel Müller-Schott, Roman Patkoló, Sergey Khachatryan and Arabella Steinbacher have also become great "story tellers". Occasionally even at world premieres, because in addition to traditional promotion measures, the Foundation also commissions compositions for its scholarship students. And: The Mutter Virtuosi, an ensemble of former and current scholarship students under the management of its name provider and founder, went on tour for the first time in 2011.
The promotion of young musicians since 1997
Anne-Sophie Mutter herself experienced how necessary targeted support is, especially during the decisive starting years. That is why the violinist founded the "Freundeskreis der Anne-Sophie Mutter Stiftung e.V." [Friends of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation] in 1997. The foundation of the same name with its head office in Munich could be established in 2008: the Foundation's objective is the global support of young, highly talented violin, viola, cello and contrabass soloists.
"Apart from huge amounts of money being swallowed by the actual education, financing a suitable string instrument often causes big problems. In addition there are respective insurance fees, trips to the world's famous artists - meetings which are indispensable for the development of a young musician. The support of young talents signifies a challenge for all those who, like me, have a particularly heart-felt interest in the future of musical life," says Anne-Sophie Mutter.
The scholarship students of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation are supported according to their individual needs - on which the benefactress spends a lot of time. This may, for example, include tuition with Anne-Sophie Mutter or support in the selection and arrangement of a suitable teacher as well as the provision of instruments, establishing contacts with famous soloists and their master classes or the arrangement of auditions with conductors. "Instead of setting fixed and inflexible rules, I am more concerned with giving every student what he or she needs", explains Anne-Sophie Mutter, who selects the scholarship students personally. In this regard she is advised and supported by an artistic advisory board comprised of the cellist Lynn Harrell.
At the moment, the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation supports seven scholarship students from the USA, Europe and Asia. Since 1997, 30 young musicians have been supported and six instruments financed from the Foundation’s capital.
Boston, 19 April 2007: Sir André Previn conducts the world premiere of his concerto for violin, contrabass and orchestra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall. The soloists: Anne-Sophie Mutter and Roman Patkoló. Previn tailored the work, created by assignment of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, to suit the scholarship student Patkoló: "Deeply impressed by his skills, I have written him a virtuoso part which no audience has ever heard before", says the composer. The Previn Double Concerto forms the prelude for further composition assignments, with which the Foundation radically expands the narrow original repertoire for contrabass and thus also for the scholarship student Patkoló: The "Duo Concertante per violino e contrabbasso" by Krzysztof Penderecki was heard on 9 March 2011 in Hanover for the first time, and Anne-Sophie Mutter has given life to "Dyade" by Wolfgang Rihm for violin and contrabass together with Roman Patkoló on 3 April in New York.
As part of the second Mutter Virtuosi tour, which included performances in seven cities in Taiwan, China and South Korea in June 2013, the fourth world premiere by Roman Patkoló and Anne-Sophie Mutter followed: on June 6, they performed Sebastian Currier’s “Ringtone Variations” for the first time – another work commissioned by the Foundation.
On August 26, 2015 the world premiere of Sir André Previn’s Nonet for Two String Quartets and Double Bass follows in Edinburgh. The work was commissioned by Anne-Sophie Mutter for her Virtuosi and is dedicated to the violinist. The instrumentation of this nonet gives current and former scholarship holders of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation new performance opportunities while also expanding the double bass repertoire. The Previn Nonet will be performed on ten evenings during the Mutter Virtuosi 2015 European festival tour – resulting in no less than eight national premieres.
The Mutter Virtuosi
During the past years, Anne-Sophie Mutter has repeatedly performed concerts together with the foundation's scholarship students - to introduce them to the life of a professional musician while simultaneously introducing them to a broad audience. She has commenced with the project The Mutter Virtuosi in the spring of 2011: this new ensemble under the musical management of the violinist consists of current and former scholarship students of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation as well as selected other young musicians. The first tour in 2011 featured stops in eleven European cities. In 2013 the soloist ensemble appeared in Asia. In November 2014 the Mutter Virtuosi will perform in Canada and the USA – including a concert at the legendary Carnegie Hall.
In the late summer of 2015, the ensemble embarks on a European festival tour, and in the spring of 2016 the ensemble appears in Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence as well as eight German cities. In October 2016 Anne-Sophie Mutter celebrates the 35th anniversary of her Japanese debut with a tour through Asia with her Virtuosi.
The Aida Stucki Award
The Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation first presented the Aida Stucki Award in New York in April 2011. The award, which carries a cash value of 10,000 Euros, went to the double bass player Roman Patkoló. In October 2013 the cellist Daniel Müller-Schott was honoured with the Aida Stucki Award in Munich.
With this new sponsorship award, the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation honours outstanding, upcoming string soloists, who follow the strong traditional line of Aida Stucki and thus of the European tradition of playing and education. The future presentation of the Aida Stucki Award is not bound to a fixed rotation, but is decided by the Foundation.