Anne Akiko Meyers (born May 15, 1970) is an American concert violinist. Meyers has toured and collaborated with a number of symphony orchestras, Il Divo, Chris Botti, and Wynton Marsalis. Meyers was featured on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on ...
Anne Akiko Meyers (born May 15, 1970) is an American concert violinist. Meyers has toured and collaborated with a number of symphony orchestras, Il Divo, Chris Botti, and Wynton Marsalis. Meyers was featured on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on October 26, 2010. She was the top selling classical instrumentalist of 2014 on Billboard's traditional classical charts.
Meyers was born in San Diego, California, the daughter of an artist and college president. Her mother is of Japanese descent. Raised in Southern California, she studied with Shirley Helmick, and then with Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. She then studied with Josef Gingold at Indiana University—and Dorothy DeLay, Felix Galimir, and Masao Kawasaki at the Juilliard School in New York City. Combining her junior and senior high school years and graduating early from the Juilliard School at age 20, she began touring internationally and recording exclusively for RCA Red Seal.
Meyers performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and, at the age of twelve, debuted with the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta conducting. When she was sixteen, she signed with ICM Artists and began touring and recording. At eighteen, she recorded her first album in London at the Abbey Road Studios, featuring the Barber and Bruch Concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Having signed an exclusive RCA Red Seal contract at the age of 21, she went on to record a comprehensive discography. At the age of 23, she was the sole recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Meyers tours with a 1730 Stradivarius violin she owns called the Royal Spanish, a 1697 Stradivarius called Molitor, and has lifetime use, for touring and performances, of the 1741 Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu. The Molitor was once said to have been owned by Napoleon Bonaparte, but provenance has established that it actually belonged to one of Napoleon's Generals, Count Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor. It was purchased from Tarisio Auctions on October 14, 2010 for US$3,600,000, at the time the highest recorded auction price for any musical instrument until the Lady Blunt Strad was sold on June 20, 2011. She has used the Molitor in multiple studio recordings including a recording of Bach's Concerto in D minor for Two Violins, BWV 1043, in which she plays both parts—one part on the "Royal Spanish" Strad and the other on the ex-Molitor. On 24 January 2013, an anonymous buyer purchased the 1741 Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu for an undisclosed amount (reportedly over $16 million, a record), and granted Meyers lifetime use of it.
Meyers has been a regular guest at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Suntory Hall, Sydney Opera House, and many other venues. She has been a soloist with many orchestras—including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Budapest Festival Orchestra, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Vienna Symphony, and the Warsaw Philharmonic.
A supporter of contemporary composers, she has premiered works by David Baker, Mason Bates, Jakub Ciupinski, John Corigliano, Gene Pritsker, Nathan Currier, Roddy Ellias, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Jennifer Higdon, Wynton Marsalis, Olivier Messiaen, Akira Miyoshi, Arvo Pärt, Manuel Maria Ponce, Somei Satoh, Teddy Shapiro, Joseph Schwantner, and Ezequiel Viñao.
Meyers asked the jazz musician Wynton Marsalis to write cadenzas for her in Mozart's Violin Concerto in G Major, No.3, which she premiered with the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
Meyers has recorded music on numerous labels. Her debut disc, recorded at the age of 18, included the Violin Concerto (Barber) and the Violin Concerto No. 1 (Bruch) with Christopher Seaman and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. RPO Records recorded the sonatas of Saint-Saëns and Fauré. Her RCA catalogue includes Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole and Bruch's Scottish Fantasy with Jesús López-Cobos and the Royal Philharmonic; the Franck and Strauss Sonatas; the Violin Concerto (Mendelssohn) and a selection of other works with Andrew Litton and the Philharmonia Orchestra; and Prokofiev Violin Concertos with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony under Dmitri Kitajenko. Sonata albums include "Salut d'Amour featuring many encore pieces with classic Japanese folksongs—and one featuring works by Copland, Ives, Piston, and David Baker with pianist Andre-Michel Schub.
She recorded works by Debussy, Messiaen, Ravel, Somei Satoh, and Tōru Takemitsu. Two works written expressly for Meyers include a live performance of the Somei Satoh Violin Concerto with Tetsuji Honna and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Angelfire by Pulitzer-prize winning composer Joseph Schwantner with Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Naxos Records also released a performance of Jennifer Higdon's piano trio, featuring Meyers, live from the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. She recorded the Bruch Concerto live with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa with Maestro Hiroyuki Iwaki.
She released Smile, with Akira Eguchi, in 2009.
In September 2010, Myers, pianist Reiko Uchida, and harpist Emmanuel Ceysson released Seasons...dreams, which features works by Beethoven, Wagner, Schnittke, Debussy, and Vernon Duke,
Meyers was the special guest violinist as part of Il Divo's Christmas Tour 2009 and toured with Chris Botti in 2010.
Air - The Bach Album debuted at number one on the US Billboard Charts on its release on February 14, 2012.
Meyers commissioned Mason Bates to write his first violin concerto. She performed the world premiere with Leonard Slatkin and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in December 2012.
Meyers' The Vivaldi Four Seasons Album debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard Charts when released on February 14, 2014.
On September 30, 2014, Meyers released The American Masters, her 30th recording, which features two world premieres: Mason Bates's Violin Concerto and the Lullaby for Natalie by John Corigliano. The recording also features Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto.