Anne-Sophie Mutter: Merkel won’t listen to me

Anne-Sophie Mutter: Merkel won’t listen to me


norman lebrecht

May 16, 2021

The violinists says she has given up talking to politicians.

She tells the Welt am Sonntag today: ‘Artists’ lives have been so restricted this year that one can speak of a professional ban, a cultural ban… I was hoping that direct communication with politicians could get things moving. It wasn’t like that…. [Politicians have grown] ‘more and more remote from culture, downright disregarding culture.’


  • Hayne says:

    Politicians do what they’re paid to do, not what their
    constituents ask.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Has nobody informed Mrs Mutter that there is a pandemic going-on?

    It makes me think of the incredible story of pianist Lili Kraus who, in the midst of WW II, set-out for an Asian concert tour and, to her GREAT surprise, was captured by the Japanese and put into a concentration camp – while ‘she had nothing to do with politics’, as she said herself about the experience.

    • Tamino says:

      What a silly false comparison.
      The pandemic is not the end of human life. It is a virus that is a bit more dangerous than the flu.
      It’s not a justified cause to do away with decades and centuries of cultural achievements.
      In times of the Spanish flu – which was a much more deadly and dangerous pandemic than Covid-19 – about hundred years ago, theatres were closed for a few weeks. Not for a year or more.

      • Tiredofitall says:

        Oh…honey…do some homework before you open spew your opinions. Nearly 3.5 million dead people may disagree.

        • Hayne says:

          The CDC admits that Covid 19 deaths have been grossly overcounted. It’s estimated that 6% of all deaths are attributed to covid19 alone. Why would they now admit this instead of earlier?

    • Jophn Borstlap says:

      The point was not to compare WWII with the coronie, but to illustrate a certain mindset of performers, who think they have nothing to do with the world.

  • A.L. says:

    Another diva throws a tantrum. There is no such thing as a cultural ban (conspiracy). The pandemic has disrupted the lives of untold many, the vast majority of them non musicians. Why should musicians be exempted from what everyone else has to go through in order to contain the situation? This is all about public health policy and not about singling out musicians. Finally, Merkel is known to be a dedicated music aficionado as her attendances over time at Bayreuth and around Berlin attest. To accuse Merkel of turning a blind eye to things cultural is disingenuous.

    • Peter says:

      You’re very obedient. Good dog! (PS: Why should thousands of people flock around in a shopping mall, but not be able to sit down and listen quietly to a concert?)

      • La plus belle voix says:

        Because there was and still is a need drastically to reduce non-essential social contacts to a minimum. And it is not just about the “setting”, but the toing and froing, i.e. getting from work or home to a venue and back again on public transport, as well as sharing public areas like poorly ventilated lavatories. Music, (along with the arts in general) is essential for the soul, the human spirit, but comestibles keep us physically alive.

        • Hayne says:

          Such as Texas where they are open and recently had 0 covid deaths? Yeah, follow the “science.”

          • Amos says:

            Please stop your disinformation lies. On May 18th 41 people died of COVID-19 in Texas and the 7 day average was 42. All we need to do with you is follow the Bitcoin!

          • Hayne says:

            Texas did have a day with 0 deaths.


            This doesn’t mean no more covid deaths as you inferred for yourself.
            It does mean “neanderthal” Texas is doing vastly better than predicted by the fear mongers.

          • Amos says:

            From March 17th -May 18th Texas had 1 day without a reported fatality. Stop the BS and lies and stop pushing treatments that show ZERO efficacy and actually cause death. Get a real job.

          • Hayne says:

            That’s what I said.
            Do you have any proof on Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine having ZERO efficacy and causing death? We’d love to see it:)

          • Amos says:

            No you indicated they had 0 deaths recently and that justified opening everything up. The day in question was March 17th and in the real world of SCIENCE that is what we refer to as an anomaly or outlier. To suggest that 1 day out of the last 60, during which ~ 3000 people died of COVID, justifies opening up is the insanity of a disinformation/conspiracy theorist looking to appease their political handler(s).

          • Hayne says:

            Here’s an article by left wing Newsweek on Texas Covid cases dropping to record low after dropping the mask mandate.


            Scientists wonder why cases going down after Texas opened up


            I’m trying to show people possible good things happening. Because it doesn’t comport with your worldview is no reason to disparage others’ opinions.

          • Amos says:

            This isn’t a matter of opinion but rather facts and data which are meant to save lives. You are pushing crap which leads to death. I don’t know if you are compensated by the tweet, click or body bag but pushing your handlers line costs lives. The science demonstrates that masks, vaccines (USA, UK and German) and early intervention with mAbs saves lives. Bleach, hydroxyQ, anti-parasite drugs are useless and dangerous.

      • Mr. Knowitall says:

        But here in Germany people can do neither. Shops are closed with few exceptions, such as grocery stores and hair dressers. (And to enter a hair salon you need an on-the-spot covid test.) Frau Mutter is lobbying for treatment for the arts that is more relaxed than other places people congregate.

      • John Borstlap says:

        When people sit still and concentrate, they might begin to think.

      • Ed says:

        Do you suggest A.L. barks?

    • SVM says:

      It is not the pandemic that “has disrupted the lives of untold many”, but rather it is the absurd, disproportionate lockdown measures imposed by politicians without a clear exit strategy and without conducting an ongoing cost-benefit analysis. The evidence is mounting that protracted lockdowns cause incalculably more harm **to public health alone** (i.e.: even if ignoring “quality of life”, spiritual, and economic issues) than they prevent. The politicians who have renewed lockdowns time after time without careful scrutiny of the evidence have blood on their hands — they should have considered that the benefits and costs of lockdown are *not* linear in nature (i.e.: the 2nd month of lockdown has far less benefit than the 1st month, and causes far more damage… in fact, one model suggests that, in a six-month lockdown, three quarters of the benefit, if any, is achieved within the 1st month alone… so, if using lockdowns at all, they should be *strictly* short-term and have a clear end-date that cannot be extended).

      • JoshW says:

        “Cost-benefit analysis” – Right – What’s a few more hundred dead people as long as your favorite pub remains open, right, SVM?

        • Hayne says:

          Everything one does in life is a “cost-benefi analysis,” my friend.

        • Sanity says:

          You do realize that because of these stupid, insensitive, blind lockdowns an ENTIRE generation of children and teenagers is having its education seriously damaged, don’t you? And in poor countries, it is no exaggeration at all to say that the future of vulnerable kids has been irreversibly damaged by these measures. Are you ok with that? Does your pandemic “sainthood” put you that much above these issues? Also, are you ok with cultural devastation, financial ruin, people not going to doctors and health check-ups because they have been brainwashed to the point of panicking about everything other than being trapped in their own homes?

      • Sanity says:

        ABSOLUTELY spot on!!! Bravissimo!

  • Marfisa says:

    It is just possible that politicians have had more urgent (though not necessarily more important) matters to deal with over the last year.

  • Herbie G says:

    ‘Politicians HAVE GROWN more and more remote from culture’? When were they less remote from it?

    Does she expect to see a concert conducted by Angela Merkel with Macron as the soloist in a violin concerto composed by Berlusconi? (Yes, I know about Edward Heath’s conducting and I have a recording of the Mozart Triple Piano Concerto with Helmuth Schmidt playing one of the piano parts, and also an old record of Jan Masaryk accompanying Jarmila Novotná – but that kind of thing is unusual.)

    Why should politicians listen to musicians any more than they listen to chartered accountants, greengrocers or landscape gardeners? Politicians are there to run the nation; they certainly screw it up occasionally but they cannot do what every single interest group demands.

    Musicians as well as many other workers have suffered appallingly throughout this pandemic and we can only hope that it is receding and we shall see a return to normality very soon.

    Forgive my cynicism but I think this is more about A S-M than culture. I wonder how hard she was hit by the pandemic, as compared by other less stellar musicians.

    • Stereo says:

      Edward Heath was a useless conductor but unfortunately thought he was good,and yes that is from personal experience!

    • Stereo says:

      Edward Heath was not the good conductor he thought he was. I speak from bitter experience.

  • Peter says:

    Culture? We have a new culture now. It’s called infection control, and every aspect of society is based on it.

    • Hayne says:

      “It’s called population control, and every aspect of society is based on it.” FIFY
      The good part is that most people are realizing how utterly stupid out “betters” are and it will come crashing down.
      Anne-Sophie sees the light and you castigate her.
      “The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly.”

      • Amos says:

        Did you lift the last quote off your cereal box or a restroom wall? If Ms. Mutter had her way even more German citizens would be infected with COVID-19 and the number of mutant virus strains would be even higher. In her case she means well but understands nothing about virology or public health. You on the other hand live to spread disinformation for the sake of your handlers who would like nothing better than to see the pandemic go on forever.

        • Hayne says:

          The quote by Robert Anton Wilson fits people like you well. You are completely ignorant of what’s really happening in places without all your “rules.” You refuse to have the curiosity and bravery to look at the truth. I realize there are many, many people like you out there. A different opinion such as Mm Mutters is looked upon as hearsay and is condemned. My information isn’t for you, anyway. BTW, India is turning the corner now with the use of Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine being allow for use everywhere. I’m sure you precious media won’t report on it.

          • Amos says:

            India is turning the corner only in your disinformation spewing mind. Stop trying to endanger lives! See my earlier response to your lies about Texas; same author same nonsense.

          • Hayne says:

            I’m trying to help people to research for themselves to come to their own conclusions. You seem to wallow in fear and misery and won’t brook any other views. I feel sorry for you.

          • Amos says:

            Save your pity for anyone who listens to you and takes a drug for COVID that has failed multiple GCP trials, is used to treat head lice or one that induces tachycardia. Grow up!

          • Hayne says:

            Would you be so kind as to show us the actual trials? Thanks so much.

            Since you won’t read, here’s some videos on the efficacy on Ivermectin.


          • Amos says:

            The FDA’s position is that the widely available drug is not approved for use against Covid-19 in the US, and the agency said it had received multiple reports of people who have “required medical support and been hospitalised after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses”. The European Medicines Agency has said the available data does not support the drug’s use for Covid-19 “outside well-designed clinical trials”, and the World Health Organisation also concluded that ivermectin should only be used to treat the virus in a clinical trial setting.

            The drug’s manufacturer, pharma giant MSD, also warned that its analysis of ivermectin identified “no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19 from pre-clinical studies”, “no meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with Covid-19 disease” and “a concerning lack of safety data” in most studies.

            Real science not bitcoin producing BS! Even the drug’s manufacturer agrees. Keep talking and killing people needlessly.

          • Hayne says:

            “…self medicating with Ivermectin meant for horses…” Well, that certainly quashes the Ivermectin prescribed for human use theory!
            Many times I’ve shown peer reviewed studies on its effectiveness. That you have no curiosity and blindly accept anything those corrupt institutions say without checking out is your problem.
            In the meantime, people who want to know more can do their own research.



          • Ashu says:

            [India is turning the corner only in your disinformation spewing mind.]

            The Indian pandemic is outside my window and across my corridor. India _is_ turning the corner, as even you could know if you even just scanned the headlines of an Indian newspaper.

          • Amos says:

            Take another look and this time while you are awake. India is turning the corner with ~ 270K new cases of COVID yesterday, the government has had to stop vaccinating people due to shortages, the number of new variants originating in India has forced countries to block entrance of anyone coming from India, including the USA preventing Indian-Americans from coming home, and now thousands of Indian citizens throughout the country have been afflicted with a life-threatening black fungus, as a result of contracting COVID, and there are limited supplies of anti-fungals. Oh and let’s not forget continual shortages of oxygen. Sounds like the resumption of cricket matches is just around the corner.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      I like that new euphemism!!

      • Amos says:

        That’s because the footnote indicates that the quote is taken from page 13 of your anime copy of mein kampf.

  • Save the MET says:

    Everyone’s lives have been so restricted this year. Lots of idiots who won’t take the vaccine as well. Many who opened up artistic venues around the world have had to shut them down again and lets of people were sickened because they attended those performances.

    • May says:

      Thanks for calling me an idiot. Too bad you also didn’t receive an intelligence injection. Getting vaccinated protects the vaccinated person, who – having weighed the risks – makes a decision about what works best for their own state of health. It does not allow you to make decisions about what is the best course for other individuals.

      • Marfisa says:

        I’m sure you are not an idiot, but you should be aware of the wider community benefits of a Covid-19 vaccination. Yes, it means the individual does not get sick, and that is good for the individual. But also fewer sick people means less stress on health services, which is good for everybody. And vaccination also means that the Covid-19 virus can be brought under control because, if the great majority of people are vaccinated, it will be unable to spread and mutate. That is herd immunity, and mass vaccination is the most effective way to achieve it.

        In a decent society individuals think about the good of others, not just themselves.

        Look at

        “Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune.”

        “Herd immunity can be reached when enough people have been vaccinated against a disease and have developed protective antibodies against future infection. Unlike the natural infection method, vaccines create immunity without causing illness or resulting complications. Using the concept of herd immunity, vaccines have successfully controlled contagious diseases such as smallpox, polio, diphtheria, rubella and many others.”

        “Herd immunity makes it possible to protect the population from a disease, including those who can’t be vaccinated, such as newborns or those who have compromised immune systems.”


        • Hayne says:

          How about the possibility of Prion disease from the vaccine?

          How about the most covid “vaccine” deaths compared to all other vaccines combined?
          The CDC has suddenly changed the way it counts covid related vaccine deaths through its VAERS system. I wonder why? Some “herd immunity.”

          Did you know that this fall there may well be a large spike in Covid 19 deaths by people who received the “vaccines?” They have less immunity to other variants because of it.

          Why do women suffer more side effects(79%) than men?

          It has been estimated the 85% of all Covid19 deaths may never have happened if early inexpensive treatments were allowed.
          Why were these treatments not allowed?
          Isn’t that criminal?

    • Sanity says:

      There isn’t a single known case – in Europe or elsewhere, for that matter – of an audience member getting contaminated while watching a classical music concert or an opera performance. The safety protocols in these houses are so strict they are even exaggerated. And yet people like you prefer to work against the arts and spread lies!

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Ms. Mutter has always seemed a little entitled…

    • JoshW says:

      A little . . . . ? I’ve worked with some of the biggest pop and classical names in the industry and no one is more “above it all” than her. If you’re just a lowly accompanying musician she looks right through you.

      • Nijinsky says:

        WOW! Anne-Sophie sticks her neck out to make a statement how as to how musicians are left out in the cold, and this turns into accusations of her looking through accompanying musicians (while she’s speaking out for them while no one else is). And that was in reference to the Government not giving enough handouts to allow them to survive during the pandemic and to not acknowledge that it’s safer to reopen concert venues with proper hygiene measures than the places that are allowed to open, which would also help them to have a means to survive. She’s also spoken out how people have written to her about the tragedy of losing loved ones who committed suicide because they have no means to survive without a paycheck. HOW this is equated with her “looking through lowly accompanying musicians,” rather than speaking out for them when no one else is, is beyond me.

        She’s also formed her own ensemble, which otherwise wouldn’t exist for “lowly accompanying musicians,” does a lot to help young talent, speaks immensely about the value of music as music (not as a means for her to get attention), clearly points out how for her it’s the matter of the music speaking not her putting her “mark” on it, and does an immense amount of charity work…

        Maybe she’s a bit too busy, and not enough into superficiality, to pamper your idea of getting attention, heh!?

    • Couperin says:

      She still misses Karajan!

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      As witnessed by her blase attitude regarding marriage. If you know you can’t keep the vows, don’t do them. And no, I’m not being sexist: plenty of men have done the exact same thing. It’s a people problem.

  • Allen says:


    The shopkeeper says she has given up talking to politicians.

    She tells the Welt am Sonntag today: ‘Shopkeepers’ lives have been so restricted this year that one can speak of a professional ban, a shopping ban… I was hoping that direct communication with politicians could get things moving. It wasn’t like that…. [Politicians have grown] ‘more and more remote from shopping, downright disregarding shopkeepers.’

    It has been difficult for everyone.

    • SVM says:

      All the more reason why it is time to reclaim our liberties! The evidence is mounting that lockdowns, especially long ones, cause more harm than they prevent. Brava to Frau Mutter for making a public stand.

    • BigSir says:

      More shops were open than concert halls. Restaurants still had carry out. Musical organizations eventually found out how to stream but streamed junk content nobody is interested in.

    • Sanity says:

      No, it hasn’t been difficult for everyone. This sort of speech, this attempt to affirm that everybody has been equally affected by the pandemic (and, even more importantly, by the ways most Western governments decided to fight it) is simply disgusting! No economic sector is being more affected than the performing arts. As much as shop owners and hospitality businesses have suffered, their situation doesn’t even get close to that of freelance musicians.

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    Mutter miffed that ‘Mutti’ won’t follow her guidance:
    the masterful epitome of grand entitlement.

  • john says:

    The politician is also a Scientist, and that perhaps informs her decisions. As a luthier I understand what Mutter is saying. As a former Nurse, I see and hear what the Science tells us.

    The Arts will recover unless the majority of the Artists die, and to avoid that it may require thinking with the head and not acting from the heart.

    • Sanity says:

      The mere fact that you are saying “the arts will recover” with that degree of certainty and frivolity proves you don’t have a f***ing clue of what is going on.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    If Merkel didn’t listen to the German people or won’t listen to other European nations why would she listen to “artists”?

  • Rob says:


  • henry williams says:

    many people take no interest in music.
    it is not a priority.

  • We privatize your value says:

    Mutter is too old for Merkel. Merkel is very, very fond of nubile millionaires – she is speaking all the time with Luisa Neubauer, and Greta Thunberg. They are the daughters that she has never had, maybe. Mutter, on the other hand, surely reminds her of Ursula von der Leyen!

  • RW2013 says:

    But the legacy of A-S.M. will
    long outlive that of Mutti Merkel.

  • Sam McElroy says:

    I rarely hear it said, so let me say it. I feel very sorry for anyone in government in any country these days (dictatorships aside) having to fumble in the intellectual darkness for the “right” solutions to this particular, unprecedented-by-definition pandemic. Imagine going to work every day to find solutions that accommodate all sectors of society in both the short and long term while preserving life, preventing the economy from collapsing, and putting out the perfect message to assuage all fears. It’s simply an impossible task, and I can’t imagine there is anyone out there in office of any kind who wants to see this thing continue a day longer that it has to. Governments – comprised of individuals like us who also want to travel and be among friends and feel the energy of the crowd – rely on healthy economies and happy citizenry for their survival, so the idea there is any punitive or surreptitiously dictatorial element to any of this just seems illogical and far-fetched to me. I content myself – during these dark days – with the certainty that human beings will always need art to reflect back at themselves the absurd complexity of their existential condition, and great artists will always be required to perform that fundamental task of creative commentary. The world will reorganize – let’s hope it comes soon – and artists will be back out there fulfilling the fantasy and fable function the world so bitterly needs. Rarely in our lifetimes have we been so disconnected from fantasy, forced to face the sobriety of biological realism and non-partisan Nature. Perhaps our re-introduction to fantasy will be all the more appreciated and, by extension, supported and valued, for its temporary and brutal suspension. We will see, but somehow I feel governments will have little to do with it. It is the collective will of cultures that have always driven the supply of, and demand for, art. It will be no different post-pandemic.

    • John Longmuir says:

      Bloody WELL said!!

    • Sanity says:

      And how are artists supposed to survive until then? How will they remain able to perform at the highest level if they are being denied the right to perform in ridiculously safe environments? I used to think the exact same beautiful things you wrote about the politicians who are dealing with this nightmare in Europe. But as time passed it has become very clear to me that they got obsessed with lockdowns to the point of being completely indifferent to both their brutal, unacceptable costs and their gains. The results brought by this last round of super restrictive measures didn’t even come close to those obtained during the first wave of the pandemic. And yet most European governments continued to blindly and fanatically insist on this path FOR OVER SIX MONTHS, as if this could go on forever and as if only zero risk was acceptable. Also, it is outrageous how they treat safe activities (like classical music concerts and opera performances) in a draconian way while being unbelievably complacent with all sorts of (real) agglomerations – like protests with the “right” causes, packed airplanes, youngsters partying around and so on.

  • Gustavo says:

    Mankind (not only politicians) have become more and more remote (distatched) from mother nature.

    The green movement needs to go beyond E-mobility and urban farming!

  • batonbaton says:

    This superannuated hausfrau needs to get some proper perspective on current priorities and her true position in the world – not everything revolves around her!

  • Maria says:

    I wish she’d just get a life; accept that there is a pandemic; that we are all in this together, and singers are having far worse time of it all being treated as murder weapons. Another artist throwing tantrums instead of being grateful for the gift of life itself when many singers and musicians have simply died. No one will want to listen to what she says if she goes on like this, least of all politicians, just yawn.

  • Fiddleman says:

    This is part of this fiction which we hear all the time from artists that culture is “system relevant”. Actually the esssential services are those of doctors, nurses, policeman, garbage collectors and the low paid workers at your local supermarket. Last night I listened to a talk show where the head of the hotel association was trying to argue that tourism is essential- perhaps economically for many persons’ livelihood but the sad truth of the matter is that life can go on without concerts, sports, or hotel visits.

  • Music fan says:

    The cheek to think that the Chancellor of a nation with 83 million people would want to hear from an entitled, whiny, self-interested violinist.

  • Gary Freer says:

    And Boris isn’t listening to Nigel Kennedy …. what a bleedin’ liberty

  • Tiredofitall says:

    I said this in another post…it pertains here:

    Sadly, they believe their stature in the performing arts world endows them with super-powers beyond the stage.

    The stage is not a platform…

  • Sanity says:

    Sometimes I get the impression that most readers of this blog are music haters rather than music lovers. After all, the amount of people here who don’t waste a single opportunity of preaching that cultural life should be exterminated for three years in the name of “public health” (no matter how ridiculously safe concert halls and opera theaters have proven themselves to be!) is simply nauseating. This attitude is cruel, outrageous and unforgivable! And last but not least… Is it that difficult for these people to understand that Anne-Sophie Mutter is not fighting this battle because of herself? She has already earnt enough money to live a good, comfortable and long life; but still decided to be brave and confront German authorities and their stupid, insensitive decisions because of her many, many colleagues who have long passed the point of desperation. Financial desperation, artistic desperation, personal desperation. But what do the so called “music lovers” who write comments in this blog care, right?

  • IC225 says:

    But…but…hang on, Germany is a cultural paradise full of wonderful, educated, mature politicians who love opera? Isn’t it? I thought that was the script. So very different from ghastly philistine Brexit Britain where, erm, live concerts and operas (with international performers) are resuming this very week…

  • Tamino says:

    Comments and thumbs up for it in this blog are depressing. Most people seem to miss her point, that human fight for our humanity is much more than just securing the body from harm.
    And then there are these envy ridden hateful commenters, who suggest she is not affected, because she is rich and successful. Shame on you people.

  • Nijinsky says:

    I don’t know what’s more amazing, how when Anne-Sophie simply shares scientific truths, that allowing for cultural events is much less dangerous than what’s allowed, along with the difference between a “society” that cares about culture and one that doesn’t; that this is shot down as if she’s unrealistic, when the manner of the lockdown, towards culture, IS highly unrealistic. Or that people think she was against measures that would have prevented the spread of covid, which she wasn’t, she simply criticized the pretension, where culture is again made out to be something one can dismiss.

    I find it so pretentious, like bombing the smithereens out of a territory, and then acting like you’re the winner and God is on your side, when in reality you’ve just destroyed good faith that there’s another way, the only way that will work, made sure that the extremism that caused the conflict remains festering, and have “cleaned” your environment to be robbed blind again, like people walking around all wearing the same gettup and thinking that’s making it, “collectively.” And then all grouping into different mobs that need an “enemy” in order to stay “glued” together. Art doesn’t do that, it connects people, doesn’t judge anyone instead restoring everyone’s humanity.

    • Hayne says:

      Fear porn works.

      • Nijinsky says:

        Anne-Sophie never said she’s against the lockdown, she said that was necessary, what she spoke against is how contradictory it was to open places that are more dangerous for spreading the virus and leaving arts as something expendable again, when opening concert venues is much less dangerous.

        Following scientific protocols to not follow scientific protocols and dismiss art for its value because one can get away with it, as if that’s scientific…….