Anne-Sophie Mutter receives Praemium Imperiale Award

Martin Cullingford Tue 17th September 2019

Award honours her impact on the arts and on enriching the global community

Anne-Sophie Mutter receives Praemium Imperiale Award (photo: The Japan Art Association / The Sankei Shimbun)

Anne-Sophie Mutter receives Praemium Imperiale Award (photo: The Japan Art Association / The Sankei Shimbun)

Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter has been named this morning as a recipient of the Praemium Imperiale Award.

Given by the Japan Art Association, the awards recognise leading figures in the fields of music, painting, sculpture, architecture and theatre/film, 'for their achievements, for the impact they have had internationally on the arts, and for their role in enriching the global community'. Each Laureate receives 15 million Yen (about £112k). 

As a virtuoso at the forefront of music for four decades now, Anne-Sophie Mutter’s legacy, whether through her acclaimed catalogue of recordings, her advocacy of composers through high-profile premieres, or by nurturing young artists through her foundation, is substantial.

Her newest recording, All Across the Stars, added a further unexpected dimension to her repertoire, offering recordings of music by John Williams prepared for her by the film composer himself. She discussed this project in depth in the cover story in our September issue, in which she also revealed that in 2021, following a year celebrating Beethoven in his 250th anniversary year, she’ll take a sabbatical.

‘I will take a year off and totally restructure her life’, she told Gramophone. Asked what life might look on her return, she said: ‘Performing less. Having more study time. I need to refocus – on how I can be a more useful member of society.’ While we wait to find out more details, it is that desire to be an artist in the widest possible sense that today’s announcement surely recognises.

Among the prizes in other categories, the Praemium Imperiale Award also gave an additional grant for Young Artists, of 5 million Yen (c£37k), to Démos, the musical education programme of Philharmonie de Paris, that provides musical education to children in rural France.

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