Anne-Sophie Mutter

Anne-Sophie Mutter
Background information
Born (1963-06-29) 29 June 1963
Rheinfelden, West Germany
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Violinist
Instruments Violin
Years active 1976–present
Notable instruments
Emiliani Stradivarius 1703
Lord Dunn-Raven Stradivarius 1710
Finnigan Klaembt 1999
Mutter Regazzi 2005

Anne-Sophie Mutter (born 29 June 1963) is a German violinist. Supported early in her career by Herbert von Karajan, she has built a strong reputation for championing contemporary music with several works being composed specially for her including by Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutosławski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Previn, and Wolfgang Rihm.[1]

Early life

Mutter was born in Rheinfelden, Germany. 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, Herbert von Karajan invited her 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.[2] 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 Lutosławski'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.[3] 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".[4]


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.[5] 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 John Galliano sleeveless dress during her performances.[6]

Personal life

In 1989, Mutter married her first husband, Detlef Wunderlich, with whom she had two children, Arabella and Richard. Wunderlich died of cancer in 1995.[7] She married the pianist and conductor André Previn in 2002.[8] The couple divorced in 2006,[9] but have continued to collaborate musically and maintained their friendship.[10]

Awards and recognition

Partial discography

On Deutsche Grammophon:

On EMI Classics:

On Erato:


  1. Carnegie Hall Playbill, November 11, 2014, p. 38.
  2. "Honorary Members of the Royal Academy of Music (Oct.14, 2009)". Royal Academy of Music. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  3. Perkins, David (2006-11-14). "Mutter still takes her music seriously". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-05-03. Yes, yes, I said it. It is my plan to stop when I reach my 45th birthday.
  4. Brookes, Stephen (19 November 2006). "Violinist Mutter, Revving Her Motor". Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  5. Dynamic CDT5092
  6. Anne-Sophie Mutter interview with
  7. Kjemtrup, Inge (January 2006). "Goddess with a Gift". Strings (135). 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.
  8. "Previn weds Anne-Sophie Mutter". BBC News. 4 August 2002.
  9. "Conductor André Previn to divorce". BBC News. 21 August 2006.
  10. Barbara Jepson (2008-11-25). "The Reigning Diva of the Violin Embraces Contemporary Music". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
  11. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1266. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  12. "Anne-Sophie Mutter wins top award". BBC News. 15 June 2003.
  13. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1790. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  14. "News in brief - Gemini - Research news from NTNU and SINTEF".
  16. "IEFG Award Ceremony 2011" (in German).
  17. "Anne-Sophie Mutter erhält Gustav-Adolf-Preis". Klassik Magazin. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
  18. "Towarzystwo im. Witolda Lutosławskiego".
  19. "Press Releases - American Academy of Arts & Sciences".
  20. "Anne-Sophie Mutter celebrates Keble Honorary Fellowship".
  21. "Fundación Albéniz. Otros programas. Premio Yehudi Menuhin".

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