Viktoria Mullova studied at the Central Music School of Moscow and the Moscow Conservatoire. Her extraordinary talent captured international attention when she won first prize at the 1980 Sibelius Competition in Helsinki and the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1982 which was followed, in 1983, by her dramatic and much publicized defection to the West. She has since appeared with most of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors and at the major international festivals. She is now known the world over as a violinist of exceptional versatility and musical integrity. Her curiosity spans the breadth of musical development from baroque and classical right up to the most contemporary influences from the world of fusion and experimental music.
Her interest in the authentic approach has led to collaborations with period instrument bands such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Il Giardino Armonico, Venice Baroque and Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique. Viktoria has a great affinity with Bach and his work makes up a large part of her recording catalogue. Her interpretations of Bach have been acclaimed worldwide and led Tim Ashley to write, “To hear Mullova play Bach is, simply, one of the greatest things you can experience…” in the Guardian. Her recent disc of Bach Concerti with the Accademia Bizantina and Ottavio Dantone has been highly praised and her recording of Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas represents a significant milestone in Viktoria’s personal journey into this music. The recording received 5-star reviews from all over the world and she has embarked on an international several season-long, series of solo Bach recitals.
Her ventures into creative contemporary music started in 2000 with her album “Through the Looking Glass” in which she played world, jazz and pop music arranged for her by Matthew Barley. This exploration continued with her second album ‘The Peasant Girl’ which she has toured around the world with the Matthew Barley ensemble. This project shows a different side to Viktoria as she looks to her peasant roots in the Ukraine and explores the influence of gypsy music on the classical and jazz genres in the 20th Century. Her most recent project, “Stradivarius in Rio” is inspired by her love of Brazilian songs by composers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Caetano Veloso and Claudio Nucci. A CD of the same name has been enthusiastically received and she is now presenting the project in concerts throughout Europe. As well as her own projects, she has also commissioned works from young composers such as Fraser Trainer, Thomas Larcher and Dai Fujikura. This rich musical diversity has been celebrated in several high-profile residences, including London’s Southbank, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Musikfest Bremen, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and Helsinki Music Festival.
This season, Viktoria performs Classical and Romantic repertoire with several major orchestras and conductors. Highlights include performances with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Helsinki Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Barcelona Symphony and NHK Symphony Orchestras. Her chamber music projects include ‘Music we Love’; a duo with Misha Mullov-Abbado, double bass, featuring his original compositions, arrangements of Brazilian and Hebrew songs and works by Schumann and Bach. With Alasdair Beatson she plays Beethoven recitals on gut strings and fortepiano, which they have recently recorded for release in 2021.
Mullova’s extensive discography for Philips Classics and Onyx Classics has attracted many prestigious awards. Her recording of the Vivaldi Concertos with Il Giardino Armonico and directed by Giovanni Antonini, won the Diapason D’Or of the Year award for 2005 and her recording featuring Beethoven’s Op.12, No.3 and Kreutzer Sonatas with Kristian Bezuidenhout won immense critical acclaim. Other discs have included the Schubert Octet with the Mullova Ensemble, “Recital” with Katia Labèque, Bach Sonatas with Ottavio Dantone,“6 Solo Sonatas and Partitas” by JS Bach and the complete works for violin & orchestra by Arvo Pärt with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Paavo Järvi for the Onyx label. Her latest CD release in September 2020, also on Onyx, is ‘Music we Love’ with Misha Mullov-Abbado. Viktoria either plays on her ‘Jules Falk’ 1723 Stradivarius or a Guadagnini violin.Viktoria Mullova either plays on her ‘Jules Falk’ 1723 Stradivarius or a Guadagnini violin.