World-Renowned Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter Launches 2020 Season of Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
Anne-Sophie Mutter, universally considered one of the greatest violinists of modern times, will make one of her few North American appearances at the inaugural concert of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival’s 2020 season on Friday, January 24. She will perform Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Nos. 4, 5 & 9, with her long-time accompanist, pianist Lambert Orkis, one of the most respected American pianists in the fields of chamber and modern music.
This not-to-be missed 7:30 PM performance will be held at First Baptist Church, 1600 South 8th St. in Fernandina Beach. Tickets for this and every concert in the 2020 season are available at www.aicmf.com or 904/261-1779.
A fixture on all of the world’s major concert halls for more than 40 years, Ms Mutter was born in the German Black Forest town of Rheinfelden in 1963 to a non-musical family. She began to study piano at five but 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. She received her first violin lessons from Erna Honigberger, a pupil of the great violinist Carl Flesch. At the age of nine she commenced studies at the Winterthur Conservatory near Zurich.
Ms Mutter made her professional debut at the Salzburg Music Festival in 1976 at age 14 with the English Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim. The legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan invited the young violinist to make her concerto debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at the 1977 Salzburg Whitsun Festival. Their partnership continued in 1978 when Ms Mutter made her first recording for Deutsche Grammophon, an album of Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos. 3 and 5. Ms Mutter continued to collaborate regularly with von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic to create a landmark series of recordings of violin concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch and Mendelssohn.
She made her American debut in 1980 with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta and later debuted in Tokyo (1981) and Moscow (1985). These performances garnered critical acclaim and helped establish her regular presence at the world’s major concert halls.
Ms Mutter has been awarded four Grammys during her illustrious career. One was for best chamber music performance of Beethoven violin sonatas with pianist Lambert Orkis, who will accompany Ms Mutter at her January 24 concert. Three other Grammys were awarded for best instrumental soloist with orchestra. She owns two Stradivarius violins: the Emiliani of 1703 and the Lord Dunn-Raven Stradivarius of 1710.
In 1985, at the age of 22, she was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the following year she was appointed International Chair in Violin Studies at the Royal Academy.
Ms Mutter founded the Rudolf Eberle Trust in 1987 to support the development of gifted young string players throughout Europe. The reach of this initiative was extended worldwide in 1997 after it was incorporated into the Friends of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. Then in 2008, she established the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, itself. These charitable institutions provide support for scholarship recipients. Since 2011, Ms Mutter has regularly shared the spotlight on stage with her ensemble of fellows, “Mutter’s Virtuosi.”
Ms Mutter’s commitment to the future of string playing extends to her championship of contemporary music. She has given the world premiers of 27 works composed especially for her by such renowned composers as Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutosławski, André Previn, Wolfgang Rihm and John Williams.
She also has used her public profile to support and promote charitable causes, notably those associated with the alleviation of medical and social problems. Her benefit concerts have raised funds for Save the Children Japan and Save the Children Yemen, the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society, victims of the 2011 Japanese tsunami and nuclear energy disasters, the UK-based Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children, SOS Children’s Villages in Syria, the Leipzig Refugee Council and the “Healing Arts Program” at the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha.
Upcoming concerts in the Festival’s 2020 season include A Musical Carnival for Children of All Ages on February 1, followed by county and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs on February 9.
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