"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: "Mutter Virtuosi", an ensemble of 14 former and current scholarship students under the management of its name provider and founder, has been going on tour to eleven European cities in the spring of 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 to the 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 American Concert Manager Douglas Sheldon (Vice President of CAMI) as well as the cellist Lynn Harrell.
The Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation is currently supporting six scholarship students from the USA, Europe and Asia. Since 1997, a total of 15 violinists, viola players, cellists and contrabassists as well as some other musicians have been promoted on a project-related basis.
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 has been heard on 9 March, 2011 in Hanover for the first time, and Anne-Sophie Mutter has given life to the "Dyade" by Wolfgang Rihm for violin and contrabass together with Roman Patkoló on 3 April. Sebastian Currier is also working on a work for these two instruments; the date of its world premiere is yet to be announced.
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 "Mutter Virtuosi" in the spring of 2011: this new ensemble under the musical management of the violinist consists of 14 current and former scholarship students of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. The tour 2011 has lead through eleven European cities. On the programme: Mendelssohn's Octet for Strings op. 20, Vivaldi's Four Seasons as well as the commissioned work of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation for violin and contrabass by Penderecki "Duo conertante per violino e contrabbasso".
"Mutter Virtuosi" have performed two charity concerts during this tour: for the Hanna and Paul Gräb Foundation which supports the handicapped, as well as for the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Association. "I find it important that our scholarship students are aware of their social responsibility as artists", says Anne-Sophie Mutter. "Music is a gift to all, an opportunity of joint experience irrespective of origin, of doing something meaningful and placing yourself in the service of society as a musician."
The Aida Stucki Award
The Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation has presented the Aida Stucki Award in New York in April 2011. The award worth 10,000 euros has been presented to the contrabassist Roman Patkoló. 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 playing and educational tradition. The future presentation of the Aida Stucki Award is not bound to a fixed rotation but is decided by the Foundation.