Anne Sofie von Otter

For the violinist, see Anne-Sophie Mutter.
Anne Sofie von Otter

Anne Sofie von Otter (2011)
Born (1955-05-09) May 9, 1955
Occupation Mezzo-soprano singer

Anne Sofie von Otter (born 9 May 1955) is a Swedish mezzo-soprano. Her repertoire encompasses lieder, operas, oratorios and also rock and pop songs.


Von Otter was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Her father was the diplomat Göran von Otter, a Swedish diplomat in Berlin during World War II.[1] She grew up in Bonn, London and Stockholm. She studied in Stockholm and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where her teachers included Vera Rozsa.[2] She made her professional operatic début in 1983 at the Basel Opera, as Alcina in Haydn's Orlando paladino. She made her Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, début in 1985 and her La Scala debut in 1987. Her Metropolitan Opera début was in December 1988 as Cherubino.[3]

Her recording of Grieg songs won the 1993 Gramophone Record of the Year, the first time in the award's history that it had gone to a song recording. In 2001, she released her album with Elvis Costello, For the Stars,[4] for which she won an Edison Award. She is a regular recital and recording partner with Swedish pianist Bengt Forsberg.[5][6][7]

In 2006, von Otter sang the Evangelist in the premiere of Sven-David Sandström's Ordet – en passion. Other work in contemporary music has included singing the role of The Woman in Senza Sangue of Péter Eötvös.[8] In other media, she appeared in the film A Late Quartet.[9]

In 2007, she released an album of music written by composers imprisoned in the Nazi "model" ghetto of Theresienstadt concentration camp (also known as Terezin) prior to their transportation to the death camp of Auschwitz. She collaborated on this project with Christian Gerhaher (baritone) and chamber musicians. She has stated that the material has special personal meaning for her as her father had attempted unsuccessfully during the war to spread information that he had received from SS officer Kurt Gerstein about the Nazi death camps.[10]

von Otter is married to Benny Fredriksson, an actor and theatre director. The couple has two children and lives in Stockholm.[2]

Awards and honours


Selective charting albums

Anne Sofie von Otter, 2013

(Peak positions in Sverigetopplistan, the Swedish national record chart)

Year Album Peak positions
1993 Grieg Songs (DG) 46      
1994 Speak Low 25      
1999 Home For Christmas 16   72  
2001 For the Stars
(Anne Sofie Von Otter meets Elvis Costello)
25 59 80 33
2006 I Let The Music Speak 13   63  
(Anne Sofie Von Otter & Bengt Forsberg)
2007 Terezín / Theresienstadt
(Anne Sofie Von Otter / Bengt Forsberg)
2010 Ombre de mon amant 32      
Love Songs
(Anne Sofie von Otter / Brad Mehldau)
2013 Douce France 58      


Lieder and songs

Complete operas

Aria recordings

Oratorios, symphonies, etc

Other music


  1. Paldiel, Mordecai, Saving the Jews: Amazing Stories of Men and Women Who Defied the "Final Solution". Schreiber Publishing (ISBN 1-887563-55-5), p. 45 (2000).
  2. 1 2 Stephen Moss (2005-08-05). "Super von trouper". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  3. Donal Henehan (1988-12-17). "Reviews/Music; 'Figaro' Among Towering Columns". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  4. Neil Strauss (2001-05-21). "Worlds of Mezzo and Pop Star Meet Somewhere In Between; Anne Sofie von Otter: Fresh Start". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  5. Anthony Tommasini (1998-05-09). "Music Review: Von Otter, From Lieder to Blues". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  6. Anthony Tommasini (2005-04-19). "Vibrant Singing at the Nice Price". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  7. Steve Smith (2009-05-04). "Resilience of the Human Spirit, in Song". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  8. Anthony Tommasini (2015-05-10). "Review: A Peter Eotvos Premiere and Schubert at the New York Philharmonic". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  9. Stephen Holden (2012-11-01). "The Strings Play On; The Bonds Tear Apart". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  10. David Bartal (2007-09-17). "A different aria". Forward. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  11. Fiona Maddocks (2013-11-09). "Various: Douce France – review". The Observer. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  12. Anne Midgette (2005-01-16). "Classical Recordings: Anne Sofie von Otter Sinks Her Teeth Into the Baroque". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  13. John Fordham (2010-11-18). "Brad Mehldau/Anne Sofie von Otter: Love Songs – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-22.

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