Anne-Sophie Mutter's Vita

2021 Anne-Sophie Mutter's Vita

Anne-Sophie Mutter is a musical phenomenon: for more than 45 years the virtuoso has now been a fixture in all the world’s major concert halls, making her mark on the classical music scene as a soloist, mentor and visionary.

The four-time Grammy® Award winner is equally committed to the performance of traditional composers as to the future of music: so far she has given world premieres of 29 works – Unsuk Chin, Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutoslawski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir André Previn, Wolfgang Rihm, Jörg Widmann and John Williams have all composed for Anne-Sophie Mutter. She dedicates herself to supporting tomorrow’s musical elite and numerous benefit projects. Furthermore, the board of trustees of the German cancer charity “Deutsche Krebshilfe” elected her the new president of the non-profit organization in 2021. Starting in January 2022, she joins the foundation board of the Lucerne Festival. In the autumn of 1997 she founded the Association of Friends of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation e.V., to which the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation was added in 2008. These two charitable institutions provide support for the scholarship recipients, support which is tailored to the fellows’ individual needs. Since 2011, Anne-Sophie Mutter has regularly shared the spotlight on stage with her ensemble of fellows, Mutter’s Virtuosi.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, all concert plans are currently contingent on the authorities’ regulations combatting the virus. On July 24, 2021 Anne-Sophie Mutter performed the world premiere of the “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2” which John Williams dedicated to her in Tanglewood. For the 2021/22 season, an extensive European tour with “Mutter’s Virtuosi” has been scheduled, during which the work Gran Cadenza for two violins, which Anne-Sophie Mutter commissioned from Unsuk Chin, is to be given its world premiere. The Brahms Double Concerto will be performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter and Pablo Ferrández with the Czech Philharmonic, conducted by Manfred Honeck. She will also tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko, playing André Previn’s Violin Concerto, also dedicated to herIn the USA, Anne-Sophie Mutter performs Beethoven’s Violin Concerto: her musical partners will be the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Davis as well as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Riccardo Muti. Chamber music programmes are also planned, featuring violin sonatas and piano trios by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with Lambert Orkis and Maximilian Hornung; further recitals with her long-standing piano partner will focus on works by Beethoven, Franck and Mozart. During a chamber music tour with current and former fellows of her foundation, various ensembles will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet in G-major Op. 18 No. 2, Haydn’s String Quartet in E-flat-major Op. 20 No. 1 as well as Jörg Widmann’s Studie über Beethoven, which she gave the world premiere of in Tokyo on February 22, 2020.

Discography

For her numerous recordings, Anne-Sophie Mutter has received four Grammies®, nine Echo Classic Awards, the German Recording Award, the Record Academy Prize, the Grand Prix du Disque and the International Phono Award.

On the occasion of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birthday in 2006, Anne-Sophie Mutter presented new recordings of Mozart’s complete major compositions for violin.

In September 2008 her recording of Gubaidulina’s Violin Concerto In tempus praesens as well as the Bach Violin Concerti in A-Minor and E-Major was released.

During the Mendelssohn anniversary year of 2009, Anne-Sophie Mutter paid very personal homage to the composer, uniting solo concerto repertoire and chamber music on CD and DVD: the Violin Sonata in F-Major written in 1838, the Piano Trio in D-Minor completed a year later, and the Violin Concerto in E-Minor of 1845.

March 2010 saw the release of Anne-Sophie Mutter’s recording of the Brahms Violin Sonatas, performed with Lambert Orkis.

For her 35-year stage anniversary in 2011, Deutsche Grammophon released a comprehensive box set with all of the artist’s DG recordings, extensive documentary material and as-yet unpublished rarities. At the same time, an album of first recordings of pieces dedicated to the violinist by Wolfgang Rihm, Sebastian Currier and Krzysztof Penderecki appeared.

In October 2013 Anne-Sophie Mutter presented her first recording of the Dvořák Violin Concerto with conductor Manfred Honeck and the Berlin Philharmonic.

In May 2014 a double CD with recordings by Mutter and Orkis followed, commemorating the 25th anniversary of their collaboration: The Silver Album featuring the first recordings of Penderecki’s La Follia and Previn’s Violin Sonata No. 2.

The live recording Anne-Sophie Mutter – Live from Yellow Lounge of her club performance in Berlin was released on CD, vinyl, DVD and Blu-ray disc in 2015. This was the first live recording ever from a Yellow Lounge. On the podium at Neue Heimat Berlin, Anne-Sophie Mutter was joined by her long-standing piano accompanist Lambert Orkis, “Mutter’s Virtuosi” and the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. The programme covered three centuries of classical music – from Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi to George Gershwin and John Williams – a combination chosen especially by Anne-Sophie Mutter for the club evenings.

Commemorating the 40-year stage anniversary of the charismatic artist, Deutsche Grammophon assembled the double CD Mutterissimo – The Art of Anne-Sophie Mutter, released in 2016. It assembles the highlights of her multi-faceted discography – personally selected by Anne-Sophie Mutter herself and focusing primarily on the past two decades of her impressive career.

In November 2017, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniil Trifonov released their first joint album, focusing on one of the most famous work in all the classical repertoire. Together with Hwayoon Lee, Maximilian Hornung and Roman Patkoló, they recorded Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A-major, generally known as the “Trout Quintet”. The programme also included Schubert’s Notturno, a masterful late work for violin, cello and piano, as well as his songs Ständchen and Ave Maria, arranged for violin and piano.

Krzysztof Penderecki’s 85th birthday was honoured by Deutsche Grammophon in 2018 with a double album including all the works he has dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter, including her first recording of the Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2: a sensitive and touching homage by the violinist to her musical friend and companion.

In 2018, Deutsche Grammophon also commemorated the 40-year anniversary of Anne-Sophie Mutter’s first recording by re-releasing her earliest concerto recordings in a deluxe hardcover edition entitled The Early Years – featuring violin concerti by Mozart (Nos. 3 and 5), Beethoven, Bruch and Mendelssohn. Thanks to the new, high-resolution audio format 2.2 24bit/192kHz, the listener has the impression of being in the violinist’s immediate vicinity.

In August 2019, Across the Stars, her album with some of the most brilliant works by the composer and multiple Oscar-winner John Williams, was released, for which Williams adapted most of the recorded works especially for her.

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yo-Yo Ma and Daniel Barenboim recorded Beethoven’s Triple Concerto together, celebrating the composer’s 250th anniversary. The album also commemorates the 20-year anniversary of the founding of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. It was released on May 8, 2020, 40 years after the legendary recording of the Triple Concerto by Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yo-Yo Ma under Herbert von Karajan’s baton.

In August 2020 it was followed by John Williams in Vienna: the legendary American film composer conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time in January 2020; the recording documents this historical performance of film history milestones. For the Musikverein audience, Anne-Sophie Mutter performed a selection of the virtuoso adaptations which Williams created especially for her, including Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter, Devil’s Dance from The Witches of Eastwick and the theme from Sabrina. In February 2021 the so-called “live edition” of this concert appeared, including six bonus tracks and John Williams’ remarks from the podium, introducing each work on the Viennese programme.

Benefit Concerts

Anne-Sophie Mutter also takes a keen interest in alleviating medical and social problems of our times. She supports various causes through regular benefit concerts. Thus, in 2019 she played for projects of Save the Children in Yemen. In 2020 three benefit concerts were scheduled, all of which had to be cancelled: The concert at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn will now take place in December 2021; replacement dates for the foundation “Leipzig hilft Kindern” and the London-based organization “Crisis”, which aids homeless people, are still being coordinated.

Awards

On October 16, 2019, Anne-Sophie Mutter was honoured to receive the Praemium Imperiale in the music category; in June she received the Polar Music Prize. Poland awarded the Gloria Artis Gold Medal for Cultural Achievements to Anne-Sophie Mutter in March 2018, making her the first German artist to receive such an honour. In February 2018 she was named an Honorary Member of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Romania awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in the rank of a Grand Officer to Anne-Sophie Mutter in November 2017; during the same month France honoured her by presenting her with the insignia of a Commander of the French Order of the Arts and Literature. In December 2016, the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports awarded her the “Medalla de oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes” (Gold Medal for Merits in the Fine Arts). In January 2015 Anne-Sophie Mutter was named an Honorary Fellow of Keble College at the University of Oxford. In October 2013 she became a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, after winning the medal of the Lutoslawski Society (Warsaw) in January. In 2012 the Atlantic Council bestowed the Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award upon her. In 2011 she received the Brahms Prize as well as the Erich Fromm Prize and the Gustav Adolf Prize for her social activism. In 2010 the Technical-Scientific University of Norway in Trondheim bestowed an honorary doctorate upon her; in 2009 she won the European St. Ulrich Award as well as the Cristobal Gabarron Award. In 2008 Anne-Sophie Mutter was the recipient of the International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize as well as the Leipzig Mendelssohn Prize.

The violinist has been awarded the German Grand Order of Merit, the French Medal of the Legion of Honour, the Bavarian Order of Merit, the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, and numerous other honours.

Last updated on August 19, 2021

Translation: Alexa Nieschlag

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