Mutter, Anne-Sophie, outstanding German violinist; b. Rheinfelden, June 29, 1963. She was only 5 when she began studies with Erna Honiberger. At 6, she won “1st Prize with Special Distinction” in the Jungend Musiziert National Competition, the youngest winner in its annals. Her appearance at the Lucerne Festival at age 13 attracted the notice of Karajan, who invited her to be his soloist in the Mozart G major Concerto, K.216, with the Berlin Phil. at his Salzburg Easter Festival in 1977. While still young, she had the rare honor of recording several of the great violin masterworks with Karajan and the Berlin Phil., including concertos by Mozart (K.216 and K.219) and the Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Brahms concertos, which won her critical approbation. In 1977 she made her first appearance at the Salzburg Festival with Wimberger and the Salzburg Mozarteum Orch. as soloist in Mozart’s D major Concerto, K.211. Her British debut came that same year when she played the Mendelssohn Concerto at the Brighton Festival with Barenboim and the English Chamber Orch. She made her U.S. debut in the same concerto with Mehta and the N.Y. Phil. on Jan. 3, 1980. In 1985 she appeared for the first time in Moscow, and also played in a string trio with Giuaranna and Rostropovich at the Aldeburgh Festival. On Jan. 31, 1986, she was soloist in the first performance of Lutoslawski Chain II with Sacher and the Collegium Musicum Orch. in Zürich. That same year, she was honored as the first holder of the International Chair in Violin Studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. On Sept. 9, 1988, she appeared as soloist in the premiere of Moret’s En Rêve in Locarno under Andreae’s direction. From 1988 she played in duo recitals with Lambert Orkis and, on Dec. 14th of that year, she made her N.Y. recital debut at Carnegie Hall. She gave the first performance of Rihm’s Gesungene Zeit in Zürich on June 13, 1992, with Sacher and the Collegium Musicum Orch. On June 24, 1995, she appeared as soloist in the premiere of Penderecki’s 2ndViolin Concerto with the MDR Sym. Orch. in Leipzig under Jansons’s direction. During 1998 she and Orkis appeared in many of the world’s major music centers playing complete cycles of Beethoven’s violin sonatas. Their marathon tour opened in Hannover on Jan. 26th, then continued on to such cities as Berlin, Zürich, Madrid, Amsterdam, Rome, N.Y., Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, Dresden, Milan, Paris, London, Shanghai, Seoul, Buenos Aires, and Vienna before concluding with a benefit concert at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn on Dec. 17th. In 1999 she toured the U.S. and the Far East, and also appeared as soloist with the World Youth Orch. under Masur’s direction and with the Curtis Inst. of Music Sym. Orch. under Previn’s direction. In 2000 she gave a series of concerts devoted to the 20th century violin literature, including engagements at N.Y.’s Carnegie Hall, with the N.Y. Phil, and the London Sym. Orch., both under Masur’s direction, and at festivals in Europe. Mutter has been honored as a member of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as of Bavaria and of Baden-Württemberg for her contributions to music and humanitarian causes. Her virtuoso technique is always employed as the secure foundation upon which to construct her masterful interpretations, which are invariably marked by an extraordinary musicianship, matchless integrity, and noble humanistic ideals.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire