Music: Siren Songs at Center Stage

Women violinists of talent and temperament invade a male preserve

They seem at first to have little in common, the wunderkind and the defector. One commands the stage like a young princess, voluptuous in a strapless designer gown that accents the alluring curve of her shoulders and the luxurious corona of her billowing tresses. As Anne-Sophie Mutter lays her bow on the strings of her Stradivarius, the music swells seductively, and all at once the intoxicating perfume of the theater fills the air. "Music is a form of love, the highest form of love," she says. "It is passion."

The other woman is a tall, slender young spartan in a loose,...

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