Anne-Sophie Mutter was born in the German border town of Rheinfelden. She received her first violin lessons from Erna Honigberger and at the age of nine, she began studies with Aïda Stucki from the Winterthur Conservatory. She made her concerto debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival in 1977. Her early career received strong support from Herbert von Karajan, and he had several works commissioned for her. Her repertoire includes several classical works, however, she is particularly known for her performances of contemporary music. Mutter won Grammy Awards for “Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)” three times, received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 2008 and the Légion d’honneur in 2009. In 2011 she was awarded the Erich-Fromm-Preis for the advancement of Humanism through social engagement and was named Musical America’s Musician of the Year. She has also been honoured with the Merit Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Mendelssohn and Brahms prizes, the Herbert von Karajan Music Prize and the Bavarian Order of Merit. In 2013 Mutter was deemed an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was appointed an Honorary Fellow at Keble College in 2015, and in 2016 she was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts by Spain’s Ministry of Culture.
In 1987 she founded the Rudolf Eberle Trust to support the development of gifted string players. The initiative’s reach extended worldwide in 1997 after it was incorporated into the Friends of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, with the establishment of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation itself following in 2008.
Ms Mutter owns two Stradivarius violins, The Emiliani of 1703, and the Lord Dunn-Raven Stradivarius of 1710, a Finnigan-Klaembt dated 1999, and a Regazzi dated 2005.
Lambert Orkis has been performing alongside violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter for twenty-eight years. Their recordings include sonata cycles by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, as well as The Silver Album celebrating twenty-five years of artistic partnership, and The Club Album containing virtuoso works performed in collaboration with noted DJs and laser-light artists. Orkis, who previously spent more than eleven years accompanying cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, has premiered and recorded the works of numerous composers including George Crumb, Richard Wernick, and James Primosch. Additionally, he has recorded Beethoven's cycle of works for piano and cello with David Hardy of the National Symphony Orchestra. Orkis appears regularly at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals and plans to return to Sydney in 2017 for Australia's Musica Viva Festival. He performs regularly and has recorded as a member of the Kennedy Center Chamber Players and the Smithsonian Institution's Castle Trio. He currently serves as the Principal Keyboard player of the National Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Piano at Temple University in Philadelphia. The Federal Republic of Germany has bestowed upon Mr Orkis the Cross of the Order of Merit in acknowledgement of his accomplishments.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator