The German violinist talks candidly about Mozart, life after Karajan and when to call it a day.

German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is soon to make her much-anticipated return to Australia where she will play three Mozart concerti in Sydney without the aid of a conductor. A child star playing for Herbert von Karajan, Mutter now has a 37-year recording career under her belt but she’s sanguine about the future and crystal clear about when will be the time to call it a day. A passionate advocate for contemporary classical music, Limelightcaught up with her in Austria preparing for her latest premiere and found her cool, calm, collected and refreshingly candid:

Whereabouts are you in Austria at the moment?

Close to Innsbruck, which is about an hour from Munich. It’s about 800 metres high and the skiing looks fabulous.

And are you skiing?

No I’m not. I do love skiing but I’m here to study for my world premiere, actually two world premieres next month, of pieces by Previn and Penderecki. It’s so calm here and so much easier to get into study mode than close to the office in Munich. When things get really tight, I say, “I’m going to Austria”,...