What would you ask Anne-Sophie Mutter?

September 30, 2008 at 09:29 PM · What would you ask Anne-Sophie Mutter? I'll be interviewing her soon about her upcoming CD of Bach and Gubaidulina, and I'd also like to talk with her about her career, about violin, etc. So what questions would you have for her?

Also, next week we will be having a little Anne-Sophie Mutter celebration, with this interview, and giving away her new CD, which will be released Oct. 7.

Replies (33)

September 30, 2008 at 10:37 PM · Greetings LAURIE, i have been a "fanatico"(ie:term used in Latin America>"fan"), of "SOPHIE" for yrs. from her initial 'onslaught' unto the international concert stage. being 'LATINO', our culture tends to be quite.. 'emotive' in verbal and body language.. "SOPHIE" from day one has been a delight to see/hear in performance.. just wanted to solicite some 'kudos/shout outs', to a very exceptional musician/persona..! Note: i am an active member of the UMS.org here in Ann Arbor, MI., i believe she will and/or has performed here before.. hopefully i will be able to attend once again,her next "happening/performance"..? after glow? Sinceramente, jairo c. muniz

October 1, 2008 at 01:49 AM · Anne-Sophie Mutter, to me is simply the miracle violinist. I mean because what she's been through, with the early passing of her husband, raising a family, and keeping her schedule and performance on such a high level is amazing.I would like to know more about the music foundation (Circle of Friends) she established and what her future plans are with it. Laurie, I'm looking forward to this interview. All the best.



September 30, 2008 at 10:55 PM · Can she suggest a good practice routine for us


How does one calm anxiety (stage fright) before


Any tips on getting a high quality tone?

September 30, 2008 at 11:23 PM · At what point in her studies did she decide NOT to use a shoulder rest? Was it her decision or that of one of her teachers?

How does she approach learning a new piece of music, especially if it is for a world premiere performance?

Is there any particular concerto she especially wants to record that she has not already had the opportunity to do so?

October 1, 2008 at 01:27 AM · Ms. Mutter is SO nice. When I interviewed her last November, she was very kind, very direct, and very thorough. Just an idea of what to expect. Also, she will be very direct and want to get right to things -- and rightfully so! She is so busy!

Looking forward to the new CD,


October 1, 2008 at 01:53 AM · I suggest you first commend her on her musical success, a job very well done. I second asking her the shoulder-rest question, although frequently asked, it's quite important to most violinists. :) You might also ask her where she sees herself in 5, 10, 15 years; teaching, concertizing, mothering her children, all three, etc.?

October 1, 2008 at 02:13 AM · I met her about 10 years ago in Pittsburgh after she the performed Brahms concerto(and the d minor sarabande as an encore). She was very warm and inviting, such a beautiful person. Seeing her play and then meeting her was the biggest musical thrill of my life up to that time.

October 1, 2008 at 05:57 AM · The question I would ask:

What music does she play, when she is playing to or for herself? What strikes a chord in her soul?

October 1, 2008 at 04:18 AM · Frau Mutter has been an idol of mine for quite some time...

What is her practice routine?

Favorite venues to play?

Other than Christian Dior, who else does she "wear"?

When she's next coming to Cleveland... :)

October 1, 2008 at 12:31 PM · How does she make that sound!!! If she starts talking about Strads, Peccattes, where she takes her violin to get fixed, I wouldn't object either!!

October 1, 2008 at 12:46 PM · My question: how does she balance mothering and concertizing, and has she had to make difficult choices on one that compromised the other?

October 1, 2008 at 06:04 PM · Keep your questions coming, I've had to delay the interview, so there's a bit more time!

October 1, 2008 at 07:26 PM · Would she consider to record the Bach solo sonatas as well?

I would actually love to hear that. (I am not into period performance :-)

October 1, 2008 at 08:02 PM · I second that question. It's an obvious one too. Also, get her to talk about pairing this modern composition with Bach on the disc. And did it make the composer nervous? :)

October 1, 2008 at 08:06 PM · I know she has been faithful to her Strad for all these years... What does she think about Del Gesù or modern violin maker.

Who is her favorite violonists on the concert circuit today...

Her past favorite

October 1, 2008 at 09:54 PM · Just curious if she's ever considered original composition, soundtrack work (original or just participating), or crossover work at all (like certain other players have :))

October 1, 2008 at 10:46 PM · Greetings,

interesting you have to pre order the new Bach. Its been in the shops here for months.



October 1, 2008 at 10:51 PM · When she's touring, does she like to have time to herself, or does she prefer to meet people and go out?

October 2, 2008 at 12:02 AM · What do you do when you're not rehearsing,recording, performing?

October 2, 2008 at 11:15 AM · Were you always self motivated as a child? Was there a time in your childhood where you did not want to practice/play for a long period of time? If yes, how was this overcome?

What role did your parents have when you were first learning how to play? How did this role evolve?

October 2, 2008 at 12:10 PM · Here are my questions:

- Why do you choose a quite average piano partner,who plays like a metronome?

- You draw up your eyebrows almost constantly during playing. This blocks breathing. Have you any reason for this?

Best wishes,


October 2, 2008 at 10:40 PM · Greetings,

how do you keep your temper when people ask you silly questions?



October 3, 2008 at 03:02 PM · We have been privileged to witness the evolving interpretation of several pieces you have recorded more than once. Could you name the influences guiding this evolution?

October 3, 2008 at 05:15 PM · Why does she use a Viola A string?

October 4, 2008 at 05:44 AM · I assume you came to a point in your practice or musical career where you discovered your very unique vibrato and sound. When was this? how did you discover your original tone?

Also, where do you get your clothes? Man, I want some of those strapless gowns, especially the one you wore for Strad or Strings Magazine--the yellow one.

What do you look for in a student? What kind of students do you teach? Beginner, advanced, super advanced, only the inhumanly talented...? If you do only teach a select "brand of student," why? What makes you want to teach these students?


October 4, 2008 at 06:32 AM · Hey, good questions Jasmine.

October 4, 2008 at 11:13 AM · Anne Sophie Mutter is my favorite violinist and I have just recieved the latest CD vith her Fantastic performance of Bach and the great new Gubaidulina concert. My question is why has she never recorded solo works for violin like the great Partitas and Sonatas by Bach. There is a performance by Mutter on Youtube playing the Sarabande from Partita Nr 2 and she does that brilliantly so when can whe expect more solo works.

October 4, 2008 at 03:01 PM · what bows does she use? If a variety how does she decide what to use with which type of music

October 5, 2008 at 10:35 PM · Greetings,

Who is your favorite conducter to work with these days?

How about orchestra?



October 7, 2008 at 05:18 AM · I almost missed this! I'm glad I did not. As you may recall, a recent discussion asked whom we would like Laurie to interview next, and my reply was, "Anne-Sophie Mutter."

First, I want to know how she creates her amazing violin tone! Her tone is probably my favorite of any violinist. How much of that tone is due to the sound of her Lord Dunn-Raven Stradivarius (or her Emiliani Strad -- she owns two!)? How much of that amazing tone is a result of her vibrato technique? Bowing technique? Strings? What kind of strings does and did she use? What vibrato techniques? What expressive bowing technique?

What are the difference between her three violins -- the two Strads and her newer violin? Did she use the Lord Dunn-Raven for this album?

Continuing the theme of her amazing tone, Mozart wrote his Violin Concerto No. 5 in a singing style, drawing on his vast knowledge of vocal music composition. A great violinist should be able to make the violin sing that piece. Mutter achieves that in her latest recording of Mozart #5 (actually both her recordings of that work). You can almost hear singing, except that the artist is a violinist, through the violin, singing to you. How did she do that?

What has she done over the years to be able to make her tone sound like it does. What is the secret of her "living" tone -- by that I mean her violin is alive and singing?

Her tone and expression in her recording of Beethoven's Violin Concerto with NYPO are terrific. How do you get that "something extra" lyrical expression?

How has she approached playing the Bach pieces in the new album as compared to last time she recorded them with Salvatore Accardo? Does she play the pieces faster, which is more popular these days?

What are her thoughts about what Bach is trying to realize or express with those concertos? (I feel as though his melodies are flowing along with something universal.)

Continuing the threads about wonderful tone and her previous recordings of the Bach pieces, in her older Bach Violin Concerto in E, which I love, her violin has an amazing humming tone. The third movement (allegro assai) sings with such a gorgeous humming tone (although some will not like her usage of vibrato in that Baroque piece), the slow middle movement (adagio) of is sublime, and her playing in the first movement is simply terrific (although the regular tempo may seem plodding to some people compared to the trend these days to play it fast -- sometimes too fast).

I did think the old recording of the Violin Concerto in A could have used a little more style. I will be interested to hear the new version.

What does she do differently today than she did in her years as a star teenager and young adult?

Finally, her recording of the Gubaidulina piece seems to be the highlight of the album, based on early reviews. What is that work about to Ms. Mutter? Does it do anything for her, and if so, what?

Did she also consider recording Gubaidulina's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra?

Well, one last question. Anne-Sophie Mutter wrote the introduction to the latest printing of Carl Flesch's masterpiece "The Art of Violin Playing." Does that imply that she is "a student of that school," so to speak? Who had the greatest impact on her playing style?

There could be so much more to ask about... what pieces does she love the most... her astonishing recording of Berg... Beethoven... will she please play in Minnesota (as a guest soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra or a director/soloist/artistic partner with the SPCO)...

October 7, 2008 at 12:15 AM · I'm interested in her amazing vibrato, and trill technique!!

October 7, 2008 at 07:14 AM · I would ask her what's holding up the interview.


October 7, 2008 at 03:59 PM · She had to play for us here in C-U, that's what. I'm a bad v.commie; even thought it's ASM Week, I walked right into Krannert where she was playing (which doubles as my parking garage for work), and drove off.

In my defense, I'm hearing one of Drew's old students play her junior recital tonight.

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