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For more than 35 years, Anne-Sophie Mutter has sustained an extraordinary musical career. Here are more facts about the sensational violinist.
Since her teenage years, Anne-Sophie Mutter has enjoyed a remarkable career as a violinist, performing all over the world. Supported early on by the legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan, she is known as an outstanding champion of contemporary music with several works being composed especially for her.
Born in West Germany in 1963, Mutter first wanted to play the violin after listening to an album of the Mendelssohn and Beethoven violin concertos that her parents had given to each other as an engagement present.
At the age of 13, Mutter was invited by the conductor Herbert von Karajan to play with the Berlin Philharmonic. They worked together until his death. "He knew just how far he could push a young musician and also the orchestra," she has said in interviews. "He would always push you to the edge of what you could comprehend at that very moment; what you were physically able to bring to the performance."
At 14, Mutter made her debut at the Salzburg Festival with the English Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim and at 15 made her first recording of Mozart's Third and Fifth Violin Concertos, with von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic.
At just 22, she was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London and head of its faculty of international violin studies.
Mutter gave her first performance in the United States in 1980 with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic, performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Two weeks later, she appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra in Mozart’s Third Violin Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich conducting.
Mutter made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1998. Accompanied by pianist Lambert Orkis, she performed a program of Franck, Tartini, Beethoven, and Ravel. Over the past 25 years, Mutter and Orkis have appeared together on concert stages all over the world.
In 1989, Mutter married Detlef Wunderlich, with whom she had two children. He sadly died six years later. In 2002, she married the conductor André Previn. They divorced in 2006 but continue to work regularly together. "Never have I worked with anyone as diversely gifted," Mutter has said of Previn (pictured).
A number of pieces have been specially written for or dedicated to her, by such celebrated contemporary composers as Dutilleux, Penderecki and Lutosławski. She is pictured here at the 2008 recording of Sofia Gubaidulina's Violin Concerto, "In tempus praesens," with conductor Valery Gergiev.
Mutter believes Schubert's Fantasie in C major to be the greatest piece ever written for violin and piano. "It’s so difficult," she has said. "It’s so difficult and for each of us we have to be so together, so much in synch..."
Mutter counts jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald's albums among her favourite records, along with Korngold's film soundtracks and the Pavarotti-Freni recording of Puccini's La Boheme.
Anne-Sophie Mutter is a keen reader. She loves Russian writers and says she often returns to tragic novels about powerful women - "women who lived their lives with passion and by being different from society," she has said.
In October 2006, Mutter reportedly indicated that she would be retiring when she turned 45 in 2008. 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.'
In August 2011, to mark the 35th anniversary of Mutter's debut, Deutsche Grammophon issued a limited-edition, numbered, deluxe box-set of 40 CDs comprising of her entire DG discography (and more) from 1978 to 2010.
In October 2013, Anne-Sophie Mutter was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a Foreign Honorary Member. In January, she was distinguished with the medal of the Lutoslawski Society (Warsaw). She is pictured here, in February 2013, attending the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood.