We spoke to violinist Viktoria Mullova about her difficult early life in Russia, her escape from the KGB and settling outside the Soviet Union
The critically acclaimed Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova has become highly regarded for her performances and recordings of a number of great violin concertos by J.S. Bach, and for her innovative interpretations of popular and jazz compositions by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and The Beatles.
Life and Music
- Mullova was encouraged to play the violin by her father from the age of four. She studied at the Central Music School of Moscow and at the Moscow Conservatoire under Leonid Kogan. In 1980 she won first prize at the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki.
- While on a tour of Finland in 1983, Mullova defected and crossed the Swedish border where she applied for political asylum - but things didn't go too smoothly; "I’d chosen a bank holiday weekend and the embassy was shut. I had to hide from the KGB in a hotel until the embassy re-opened. It was an adventure!"
- Life is now very different for Viktoria who lives in London with her husband, cellist Matthew Barley, and three children.
- Mullova, who plays a 'Jules Falk' 1723 Stradivarius, has appeared with most of the world's greatest orchestras and conductors and at the major international festivals.
- She has made many recordings of both classical and contemporary recordings including Vivaldi and Beethoven Concertos and the jazz album Through the Looking Glass, with her husband and the renowned British jazz pianist Julian Joseph. She continues to record specially commissioned works from young composers such as Dave Maric and Fraser Trainer
- Viktoria was nominated for a 1995 Grammy Award for her recording of the Bach Partitas, and she has won an Echo Klassic award, a Japanese Record Academy Award and a Deutsche Schallplattenkritik prize. Her 1995 recording of the Brahms B major Trio (No 1) and Beethoven's Archduke Trio with Andre Previn and Heinrich Schiff received a Diapason d'Or.
Did you know?
In the mid-1990s she formed the Mullova Chamber Ensemble which has toured throughout Europe and recorded two discs - Bach Concertos and the Schubert Octet.
BrahmsViolin Concerto in D major
The much-loved violinist Viktoria Mullova tells Classic FM about defecting from Soviet Russia, her tough musical training and the satisfaction of taking matters into her own hands.
Acclaimed violinist Viktoria Mullova joins Classic FM for a quick drink and a chat...
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