A start to New Year's Eve that is as charming as it is vivacious: Whenever the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is the star guest of the Berliner Philharmoniker's New Year concert, this already festive event, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, seems even a little more glamorous. And especially when the programme includes works by Emmanuel Chabrier, Jules Massenet, Francis Poulenc and Maurice Ravel, music as sparkling and invigorating as champagne, and which goes well together with the bravura pieces to be performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter: Camille Saint-Saëns' Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso and Maurice Ravel's Tzigane, a technically highly demanding rhapsody for violin and orchestra which takes Niccolò Paganini's virtuoso pieces for violin as its model. And the best part: You don't need concert tickets to be there! The concert will be broadcast live in the Digital Concert Hall and at a cinema near you.

Spectacular beginning

Anne-Sophie Mutter was discovered for the Berliner Philharmoniker by Herbert von Karajan: In 1977, she appeared with the orchestra for the first time at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival – at the age of only 13. “In gratitude for my first concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Mr. von Karajan,” the 13-year-old wrote at that time in a greetings card. The handwriting may have been that of a child, but her interpretation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s G Major Violin Concerto certainly wasn’t. “She played it ravishingly, and above all, she did not play it at all like a child prodigy. Her technique is fully mature,” wrote the reviewer of Die Welt enthusiastically. Her youthful freshness charmed and her technique was convincing – yet critics wondered whether a serious artist would develop from the child genius.

Artistic rapport

This question was answered just shortly afterwards: From 1980 to 1983, she presented the great violin concertos: Beethoven, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Brahms – mostly, but not exclusively, with her mentor, Karajan. And the tumultuous applause of the audience as well as the reviews in the press left no doubt: Over this period, the violinist had matured into an artist of distinction. After those early years with the Philharmoniker, there was a long pause. Not until 2003 would she return to the Berliner Philharmoniker, together with the conductor André Previn. A special highlight of her association with the Berliner Philharmoniker was the concert to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Herbert von Karajan’s birth in 2008, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. It is no coincidence that the violinist performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, the work that she most frequently played with Karajan. At her last appearance in February 2013, the violinist interpreted Antonín Dvořák’s Violin Concerto and his Romance for Violin and Orchestra under Manfred Honeck. The live recording of this concert was released on CD and was the first joint recording by Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Berliner Philharmoniker for 30 years.