The Kennedy Center

Anne-Sophie Mutter


For 35 years, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter has sustained a career of exceptional musicianship with an unwavering commitment to the future of classical music. Since her international debut at the Lucerne Festival in 1976, followed by a solo appearance with Herbert von Karajan at the Salzburg Whitsun Concerts, she has appeared in all the major concert halls of Europe, North and South America and Asia. In addition to performing and recording the established masterpieces of the violin repertoire, she is an avid champion of 20th and 21st century violin repertoire in both orchestral and chamber music settings. She has had new works composed for her by Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutoslawski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir André Previn and Wolfgang Rihm. She also devotes her time to numerous charity projects and supports the development of young, exceptionally talented musicians.

2011 marks the 35th anniversary of her Lucerne Festival debut at the age of 13, and this season's schedule solidifies the violinist's musical versatility and unparalleled distinction in the classical music world. To start off the year, she performed the Dvorak Violin Concerto in Germany and Austria together with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle and in Spain with the Orquesta Sinfonica Degalicia under the direction of Victor Pablo Perez. Another essential programmatic focus in the year of her 35th stage anniversary is her tour with "Mutter‘s Virtuosi": This new ensemble, under the musical direction of the violinist herself, consists of 14 current and former scholarship holders of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. The tour in 2011 comprises eleven European cities and includes Mendelssohn's Octet for Strings Op. 20, Vivaldi's Four Seasons and works for violin and double bass by Penderecki and Previn commissioned by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. The Mutter Virtuosi will tour Asia in 2013.

During the 2010-2011 New York concert season, she enjoyed the status of "Artist in Residence" and treated her audiences to three different concert programs including five premieres: After the world premiere performance of Wolfgang Rihm's "Lichtes Spiel" in November 2010, listeners enjoyed the  New York premiere of  Gubaidulina's "In tempus praesens" in April 2011. The second world premiere took place at a chamber music evening as part of her New York "Artist in Residence" tenure: Together with double bass player Roman Patkoló, she performed Wolfgang Rhim's "Dyade," followed by the U.S. premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki's "Scherzo for Violin and Double Bass," both works commissioned by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. To finish off the season with the New York Philharmonic, she treated audiences to a Beethoven Romance in conjunction with the world premiere of Sebastian Currier's "Time Machines" and performed a concert with longtime recital partner, pianist Lambert Orkis, in June 2011. Mrs. Mutter and Lambert Orkis also performed together in Germany, China, Korea, and Taiwan presenting works of Debussy, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Sarasate.

In July, she will embark on a European tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Manfred Honeck with Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and with "Lichtes Spiel" by Wolfgang Rihm, which will be performed for the first time in Germany, the UK, Lithuania, Austria and Switzerland at these concerts.

She will begin the 2011-12 season with gala concerts with the Boston and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. In Pittsburgh she will be under the direction of Manfred Honeck, and she will conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra herself.

In addition to the big thematic focuses, the program for 2011 also includes, among others, Brahms' Double Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto as well as "In tempus praesens" by Sofia Gubaidulina. she will perform these together with Kurt Masur and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra.

The honors afforded her for many recordings including the German Record Prize, the Record Academy Prize, the Grand Prix du Disque, the International Record Prize and several Grammies. On the occasion of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 250th birthday she recorded all of Mozart's major compositions for violin. Her recording of Gubaidulina's Violin Concerto "In tempus praesens" together with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev as well as her recording of Bach's Violin Concerto in A minor and E major performed together with the Trondheim Soloists under the direction of the violinist herself were released in September 2008. To mark the Bicentenary of Mendelssohn's birth, she honored the composer with a very personal tribute combining symphonic music and chamber works on CD and DVD: The Violin Sonata in F major of 1838, the Piano Trio in D minor op. 49 composed in 1839 and the Violin Concerto in E minor of 1845. Her recording of Brahms' Violin Sonatas performed together with Lambert Orkis was released in March 2010 on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

For the violinist's 35th stage anniversary the Deutsche Grammophon label will release a comprehensive box set with all of her recordings published through Deutsche Grammophon, extensive documentations and so far unpublished rarities. In concurrence with the "ASM35" box set, the live recording of the New York premiere of Wolfgang Rihm's "Lichtes Spiel" and Sebastian Currier's "Time Machines" will be released.

She devotes much of her time and resources to supporting charitable causes and the development of young musicians. In 2008, she established the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation to further increase worldwide support for promising young musicians. The organization grew out of The Anne-Sophie Mutter Circle of Friends Foundation, which was founded in 1997. She is also interested in the global medical and social problems of our time, regularly lending her support to various charitable causes. In 2011, she will perform benefit concerts for the Hanna and Paul Gräb Foundation as well as for the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society.

In 2010, she was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. In 2009, she was granted the European St. Ulrich's Prize and the Cristobal Gabaroon Award, and in the previous year she received the International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize as well as the Leipzig Mendelssohn Prize. She is a bearer of the Grand Order of Merit of the German Federal Republic, the French Order of the Legion of Honor, the Bavarian Order of Merit, the Great Austrian Order of Merit, among many other awards. She was also awarded Musical America's 2011 Musician of the Year Award.

May 2012
Anne-Sophie Mutter