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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 June, 2003, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Anne-Sophie Mutter wins top award
Anne-Sophie Mutter
Mutter began her career performing with the late Herbert von Karajan
Classical violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter has been named as the first winner of a prestigious new award for outstanding contemporary musicians.

German-born Mutter, 39, accepted the Herbert von Karajan award at the close of the Baden-Baden Pentecost music festival on Sunday.

Mutter also performed with the Munich Chamber Orchestra ahead of collecting her award, which includes a cheque for 50,000 euro (£35,000).

Mutter was considered a child prodigy and is now one of the world's most accomplished soloists.

She was chosen to win the prize by the board of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.

As the prize-winner, she will be required to invest the money to support the training of younger musicians.

Herbert von Karajan was the legendary conductor and head of Berlin's Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mutter made her debut with Karajan in 1977 at the Salzburg festival.

The next year she made a highly acclaimed appearance with Karajan and his Berlin Philharmonic.

The performance saw the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration. Karajan died in 1989.

Mutter went on to travel widely in Europe and North America.

Mutter is a devotee of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

But, more recently, she has expanded her repertoire to include more contemporary composers.

Last August, Mutter married the composer and conductor Andre Previn.

The couple have performed together on several occasions.

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