Anne-Sophie Mutter: ‘When I was young, there were a lot of Harvey Weinsteins around’

9 April 2018, 14:50

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

The German violinist told Classic FM ‘women need to be able to lead a professional and private life which is free of power play’.

Anne-Sophie Mutter is one of today’s best-known violinists. Mentored by the late conductor Herbert von Karajan, she rose to fame when she started to play alongside him at the age of 13.

She spoke to Classic FM ahead of a performance of the Brahms Double Concerto with Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre.

“Obviously when I was young, there were a lot of Harvey Weinsteins around, which I was able to escape,” said Mutter. “I’m a very fast runner and I can duck away very fast – and if necessary, I can get a little physical to get the message across.

“But of course, we should not live in a society where this is necessary, and where this has been necessary in order to keep your dignity. Society has to change.”

In the wake of the MeToo movement, there have recently been allegations of sexual wrongdoing against conductors James Levine and Charles Dutoit

Anne-Sophie continued: “When [Pablo and I] are playing together, we have to listen to each other while we are playing, or talking, in a musical sense, and take into consideration what the other person has to offer. This, in a way, can help us understand we all have the same needs and rights.

“And yes of course, women need to be able to lead a professional and private life which is free of power plays.”

Watch the full interview and rehearsal clip with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra here: