Anne-Sophie Mutter's Vita

Anne-Sophie Mutter's Vita

Anne-Sophie Mutter is a musical phenomenon: for more than 40 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 26 works – Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutoslawski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir André Previn, Wolfgang Rihm and John Williams have all composed for Anne-Sophie Mutter. Furthermore, she dedicates herself to numerous benefit projects and to supporting tomorrow’s musical elite: 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.

Anne-Sophie Mutter’s 2018 concert calendar features performances in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, once again reflecting the violinist’s musical versatility and her unparalleled prominence in the world of classical music: in March she will perform the world premiere of André Previn’s composition The Fifth Season for violin and piano at Carnegie Hall. In November, she will introduce the world to musical terra incognita again, premiering a work for two violins by the South Korean composer Chin Un-suk. Throughout the year, the violin works by Krzysztof Penderecki form a great thematic focus, commemorating the composer’s 85th birthday in 2018 and the many years of friendship between him and Anne-Sophie Mutter. In honour of the Polish composer, she will play those works he has dedicated to her, the Violin Concerto No. 2 “Metamorphoses” (which she premiered in 1995) and the Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 (premiered by her in 2000), the Duo concertante per violino e contrabbasso (premiered by her in 2011) as well as La Follia for solo violin (which she premiered in 2013). A double CD with all the works Penderecki has dedicated to her will be released on August 10th 2018, also including the first recording of the Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2.

Concerts in 2018

Anne-Sophie Mutter begins the new year of 2018 with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto: the tour with the Orchestre dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Sir Antonio Pappano’s baton takes her to Italy and Germany. This outstanding work of violin literature was recorded by Anne-Sophie Mutter both with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic and with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Recitals in the USA launch the Penderecki retrospective, while also taking Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis into the 30th year of their musical partnership. Bach’s famous Partita in D-minor and works by Brahms bookend the fascinating programme. At Carnegie Hall, Anne-Sophie Mutter will also introduce her audience to musical terra incognita on March 4: The Fifth Season was composed by Sir André Previn and co-commissioned by the violinist and Carnegie Hall, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the legendary concert hall’s founding. 

Further recitals with Penderecki’s works follow in the composer’s homeland, also featuring the Scherzo from the romantic F-A-E Sonata by Brahms and Bach’s Partita in D-minor. Once again, Mutter’s partner at the piano is Lambert Orkis. Their joint recording of Beethoven’s sonatas for piano and violin won a Grammy Award, for example, and their recording of Mozart’s sonatas for piano and violin was awarded the prize of the French magazine Le Monde de la Musique.

In Poland, Anne-Sophie Mutter will also perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto – with the NOSPR Orchestra Katowice under the baton of Cristian Macelaru.

In April 2018 she will give concerts with a member of her soloists’ ensemble, “Mutter’s Virtuosi”: together with cellist Pablo Ferrández, she plays the Brahms Double Concerto in Oxford, with Marios Papadopoulos leading the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. This is another work Anne-Sophie Mutter has previously recorded: in 1993, together with António Meneses, the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert von Karajan.

The Violin Concerto No. 2 “Metamorphoses”, which Penderecki dedicated to her, will be performed both with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Lukasz Borowicz and with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin. In the German capital, the composer will conduct – as he did when this work was recorded with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the London Symphony Orchestra in 1997.

Recitals in Luxembourg and Germany with Lambert Orkis follow in May and June. Their programme includes Previn’s new work The Fifth Season, Penderecki’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2, commissioned by her, as well as his Duo concertante per violino e contrabbasso, a work commissioned by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. The outstanding double bass player and former fellow of the Foundation Roman Patkoló inspired the writing of this work. The D-minor Partita by Bach and Mozart’s Violin Sonata K. 304 provide a contrast with the Penderecki focus. 

In Australia, Anne-Sophie Mutter will appear with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson, as well as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. She plays John Williams’ Markings for solo violin, strings and harp, which the composer dedicated to her and which she premiered on July 16, 2017 together with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons in Tanglewood. This will be the Australian premiere of Markings. During these concerts in June 2018 she will also perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. This work has also been recorded twice so far by the artist: a 1988 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan was followed by another with the Vienna Philharmonic and Sir André Previn in 2004.

This is followed by a benefit concert on September 20, given by Anne-Sophie Mutter with Daniel Barenboim at the piano in Berlin. Proceeds from the recital, performed in celebration of Konzertdirektion Adler’s 100th anniversary, will benefit the Barenboim Foundation and the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation in equal shares. 

The violinist’s next benefit concert on September 23 is in aid of the project “Liberation – Artist in Residence” at the Archabbey St. Ottilien. This concert draws attention to the little-known Jewish history of the Benedictine Abbey from 1945 to 1948: just one month after liberation from the Nazis’ machinery of death, a small orchestra led by the conductor Michael Hofmekler and the violinist Alexander Stupel gave the legendary “Liberation Concert” at St. Ottilien on May 27, 1945. In prison clothes, survivors of the former ghetto orchestra in Kaunas played for the patients of the hospital which had been erected on the grounds of the former Benedictine Abbey. 

In mid-October, Anne-Sophie Mutter continues her retrospective of Penderecki’s oeuvre as part of a tour through China: in Changsha, Guangzhou, Harbin, Kunming, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and Zhengzhou, she performs the Violin Concerto No. 2 Metamorphoses as well as La Follia for solo violin. Her musical partners are the Sinfonia Varsovia and conductor Maciej Tworek.

On November 6, Deutsche Grammophon celebrates its 120-year anniversary in Berlin: at the Philharmonie, Anne-Sophie Mutter will join the Staatskapelle Berlin under the baton of Manfred Honeck, performing John Williams’ Markings. She also performs the world premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Duo for Two Violins together with Ye-Eun Choi, who holds a scholarship from her foundation.

Anne-Sophie Mutter joins the National Orchestra of Spain under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach in Madrid on November 16 and 17, performing John Williams’ Markings and the Brahms Violin Concerto. This work was also recorded by the artist twice – both with Herbert von Karajan and Kurt Masur.

On November 23, Krzysztof Penderecki celebrates his 85th birthday – and conducts a performance of his Violin Concerto No. 2 Metamorphoses with Anne-Sophie Mutter in Warsaw. After this birthday concert, Penderecki and Mutter perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Scotland. 

Deutsche Grammophon celebrates its 120-year anniversary in Asia as well: in Tokyo on December 5 and two days later in Seoul. In the Japanese capital, Anne-Sophie Mutter performs the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Saito Tinen Orchestra; Seiji Ozawa conducts. At the anniversary concert in Seoul, the violinist joins Ye-Eun Choi, who is from Korea, in Unsuk Chin’s Duo for Two Violins. 

Two further benefit performances conclude Anne-Sophie Mutter’s 2018 concert calendar: on December 14, she joins former and current scholarship holders of her foundation in a concert in Wehr (Baden-Württemberg), performing in aid of the Hanna and Paul Gräb Foundation, and on December 15, she plays in Aurach in Upper Austria, raising funds for the renovation of the church organ in the parish church of St. Rupert in Oberaurach.

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 in May 2015 was released on CD, vinyl, DVD and Blu-ray disc on August 28, 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 has assembled the double CD Mutterissimo – The Art of Anne-Sophie Mutter, released worldwide on December 9, 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 includes 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.

To mark Krzysztof Penderecki’s eighty-fifth birthday Deutsche Grammophon is releasing on August 10 a double album with all the works Penderecki has dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter, also including the first recording of the Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2: a sensitive and moving homage on the part of the violinist to a musical friend. 

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 2018 she will perform for the Barenboim Foundation, the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, the Romanian orphanage in Victoria, the Hanna and Paul Gräb Foundation and for the renovation of the church organ in the parish church St. Rupert in Oberaurach (Austria).

Awards

In March 2018 Poland bestowed the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis upon her. 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 is 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 July 2018

Translation: Alexa Nieschlag

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