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Anne-Sophie Mutter (born June 29, 1963) is a German violinist virtuoso.
Mutter was born in Rheinfelden, Germany. She began playing the piano at age five, and shortly afterwards the violin, studying with Erna Honigberger, a pupil of Carl Flesch. Upon Honigberger's death, she continued her studies with Aida Stucki, at the Winterthur Conservatory.
After winning several prizes, she was exempted from school to dedicate herself to her art. When she was 13, conductor Herbert von Karajan invited her to play with the Berlin Philharmonic. In 1977, she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival and with the English Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim.
At fifteen, Mutter made her first recording of the Mozart Third and Fifth violin concerti with von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. The same year, she was named Artist of the Year.
In 1980, she 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. 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. A number of pieces have been especially written for or dedicated to her, including Henri Dutilleux's Sur le Même Accord, Witold Lutosławski's Partita, Krzysztof Penderecki's Second Violin Concerto and Wolfgang Rihm's Gesungene Zeit ("Time Chant"). In August 2007, she will premiere Sofia Gubaidulina's Violin Concerto No. 2 "In tempus präsens". She has received various prizes, including several Grammys. She also owns two Stradivarius violins (The Emiliani of 1703, and the Lord Dunn-Raven of 1710) and a Regazzi, dated 2005.
In October 2006, on French television, Mutter appeared to indicate 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 1989, Mutter married her first husband, Detlef Wunderlich, with whom she had two children, Arabella and Richard. Detlef died of cancer in 1995. She married the pianist and conductor André Previn in 2002. However, on 21 August 2006, Mutter's office announced that she and Previn had divorced. The couple were rumoured to have separated three months previously, but confirmed their divorce as of the above date.
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