Previn, André – with Anne Sophie Mutter
Type of Spiritual Experience
Previn’s fifth marriage, in 2002, was to the German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, for whom he later wrote a violin concerto. They announced their divorce in August 2006.
The Mail on Sunday 27 Aug 2006 FromSharon Churcher IN WASHINGTON andCaroline Graham IN LOS ANGELES
NO COUPLE was more stellar in the firmament of classical music – the celebrated conductor and his beautiful, voluptuous wife, one of the most gifted violinists ever to take the stage. Andre Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter radiated such glamour and musical brilliance that the 34-year age gap meant little as they toured the world’s leading concert venues. Two supremely talented people had, it seemed, found true meaning in musical partnership.
For Previn confided in his friends that, after four previous wives and countless affairs, this was the woman with whom he hoped to end his days. It seemed that Mutter, 43, whose sensual curves and backless dresses attract almost as much attention as her playing, had finally cured him of his wandering eye.
Yet now, possibly for the first time in his life, the tables have been turned. Last week
German- born Mutter formally announced that their four-year marriage is over. And at the age of 77 Previn is on his own. Being unceremoniously dumped is a new experience for the conductor and, although little has been said in public, he has not taken it well. The Mail on Sunday has learned that after a lifetime of breaking other people’s hearts, his dreams have been shattered………………
In Anne-Sophie Mutter, though, he appears to have met his match. One member of her circle in Germany said: ‘Anne-Sophie oozes sex. She takes herself very seriously as a musician, but is fully aware of her power over men. Andre was enthralled by her. When I saw them together, she was the dazzling star. He sat back and seemed to relish the attention she was given.’
THIS was in contrast to the Andre of old. ‘ Back in the Seventies, he was the star,’ said the source. ‘He would dance the night away in Annabel’s club in Mayfair and conduct the Last Night of the Proms the following day. But with Anne-Sophie, he was content to sit back and allow her to be in the spotlight.
‘He loved her effect on other men. She works out and shows off her figure in slinky gowns that leave nothing to the imagination.
‘Andre loved the fact that, in his 70s, he was with a woman so many men lusted after. It appealed to his ego.’
One of Mutter’s colleagues said that although she had great affection and respect for Previn, there was no passion between them – as if the marriage had been used to fill the void left by the death of her first husband, Dr Detlef Wunderlich, lawyer to the great conductor Herbert von Karajan.
‘The age difference was a big factor,’ said the colleague. ‘Andre was being dragged to showbiz parties that didn’t kick off until midnight when he wanted to be asleep at home. In the end she was going to a lot of events on her own.’
Anne-Sophie stopped wearing her wedding ring four months ago. Friends say her children from her previous marriage – daughter Arabella, 14, and son Richard, 12 – were called to a meeting with their mother and Previn at their £2.5million mansion in Munich, to tell them they were divorcing. It is understood that Anne-Sophie will keep the Munich house.
Asked what she thinks will become of Andre, [his former wife] Heather said: ‘His contract as music director of the Oslo Philharmonic is coming to an end. I just hope he has enough in his life to make up for this loss. I am sure he feels terribly hurt – just as I was terribly hurt and his other wives were hurt by him.
That is the irony.’
A description of the experience
Previn: Tango Song and Dance (dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter)
The composer André Previn's declaration of love to the soloist Anne Sophie Mutter. A Film by Thomas Grube © 2002 Deutsche Grammophon and BOOMTOWN MEDIA