27 November 1959 |
Near Moscow, Russia, USSR
Jules Falk Stradivarius 1723
Giovanni Battista Guadagnini 1750
Viktoria Yurievna Mullova (Russian: Виктория Юрьевна Муллова; born 27 November 1959) is a Russian violinist. She is best known for her performances and recordings of a number of violin concerti, compositions by J.S. Bach, and her innovative interpretations of popular and jazz compositions by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, the Beatles, and others.
Biography and early career
Mullova was born in Zhukovsky, near Moscow, in Soviet Russia. After studying at the Central Music School of Moscow and at the Moscow Conservatoire under Leonid Kogan, she won first prize at the 1980 International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki and the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1982.
During a tour of Finland in 1983, Mullova and her lover, Vakhtang Jordania, who posed as her accompanist so they could defect together, left the hotel in Kuusamo, after Jordania told the KGB officer who was watching them that Mullova was too sick from drinking to attend the afterparty. The Stradivari violin owned by the Soviet Union was left behind on the hotel bed. A YLE journalist Jyrki Koulumies, accompanied by a photographer Caj Sundman, drove them in a rented car across the border via Haaparanta to Luleå, Sweden where they flew to Stockholm.
At that time, the Swedish police treated the young, on-the-run musicians just like any other political defectors from the Eastern Bloc: they suggested that the couple stay in a safehouse over the weekend until the American Embassy opened so they could apply for political asylum. So for two days they sat under false names in a safehouse not even daring to go outside, because their photographs were on the front page of every Swedish and international newspaper. Two days later they were in Washington, D.C. with American visas in their pockets.
Life in the West
She formed the Mullova Chamber Ensemble in the mid-1990s. The ensemble has toured Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands and has recorded the Bach violin concertos on Philips Classics. She was nominated for a 1995 Grammy Award for her recording of the Bach Partitas, and she won a 1995 Echo Klassik award, a Japanese Record Academy Award and a Deutsche Schallplattenkritik prize for her recording of the Brahms violin concerto. Her recording of the Brahms B major Trio (no. 1) and Beethoven's Archduke Trio with André Previn and Heinrich Schiff was released in 1995, receiving a further Diapason d'Or.
Mullova's international career as a soloist has included performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed as soloist and director with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Mullova currently lives in Holland Park, London, England, with her husband, cellist Matthew Barley, and three children: Misha, from her relationship with conductor Claudio Abbado, Katia, from her relationship with violinist Alan Brind, and Nadia, from her marriage to Barley.
- Beethoven Violin Sonatas Nos. 3, 9 (Onyx 4050). With Kristian Bezuidenhout; 2010
- JS Bach Sonatas & Partitas for violin solo (Onyx 4040); 2009
- JS Bach Sonatas for violin and harpsichord (Onyx 4020). With Ottavio Dantone; 2007
- Vivaldi 5 violin concertos (Onyx 4001). With Il Giardino Armonico; 2005
- Beethoven and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos (Philips, 473 872-2). With Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/John Eliot Gardiner; 2003
- Mozart: Violin Concertos Nos. 1, 3-4 (Philips, 470 292). With Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; 2002
- Through the Looking Glass (Philips, 464 184-2). With Matthew Barley and Between the Notes; 2000
- Bartók and Stravinsky Violin Concertos (Philips, 456 542-2). With Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen; 1997
- Brahms Violin Sonatas (Philips, 446 709-2). With pianist Piotr Anderszewski; 1997
- A biography, From Russia to Love, by Dr Eva Maria Chapman, was published on September 19 2012 (Robson Press UK)
- John Woodford (2001). "Through the Looking Glass with Viktoria Mullova". MusicTeachers.co.uk Online Journal 2 (8). Retrieved 2008-06-29.
-  Iltalehti: Viktoria Mullova loikkauksestaan: Vihdoin voin lopettaa valehtelemisen (in Finnish). Retrieved 2008-09-13
- Ian Phillips (7 July 2000). "Reflections to Mullova". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- Tim Ashley (2 February 2001). "And this one's by the Bee Gees". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-30.