The Russian violinist, Viktoria Mullova (Russian: Виктория Муллова), studied at the Central Music School of Moscow and the Moscow Conservatoire under Leonid Kogan. Her extraordinary talent captured international attention when 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.
Since then, Viktoria Mullova has appeared with most of the world's greatest orchestras and conductors and at the major international festivals. She is known the world over as a virtuosic violinist with exceptional versatility and musical integrity. Her curiosity spans the gamut of musical development from Baroque and classical right up to the most contemporary influences and improvisation. 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.
Viktoria Mullova's international career as a soloist has included performances with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Philharmonia Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester. She has also performed as soloist and director with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In 2008-2009 she performs with, among others, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Gustavo Dudamel, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Philharmonia Orchestra with Paavo Järvi, and Orchestre National de France, as well as concerts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Her interest in the authentic approach has led to collaborations with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Il Giardino Armonico, Venice Baroque Orchestra and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. She has a close association with harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone with whom she tours and has recorded her all- Bach programme and which led Tim Ashley to write, "To hear Mullova play Bach is, simply, one of the greatest things you can experience…" in The Guardian.
Her ventures into creative contemporary music started in 2000 with her album “Through the Looking Glass” (with the renowned British jazz pianist Julian Joseph). “…Mullova and friends transcended their contrasting musical origins and fused into something genuinely new and beguiling.” said Richard Morrison in The Times. Her exploration continues, commissioning works from young composers such as Fraser Trainer and she is currently working on a project involving gypsy music and improvisation with Matthew Barley’s band. She was recently asked by London's Southbank Centre to feature as the first "Artist-in-Focus" in their re-vamped International Chamber Music Series. The Southbank’s head of music, Marshall Marcus described her as, “a great virtuoso with extraordinary courage and commitment with a rare propensity to try new things and experiment.” Over the next two seasons (2009-2010, 2010-2011), the Vienna Konzerthaus will also feature Viktoria in six very different concerts in recognition of her musical diversity.
As a recitalist, Viktoria Mullova regularly performs with Katia Labèque and she has recently formed a duo with the fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenout performing works by Schubert and L.v. Beethoven. Later in the season (2008-2009), they will be joined by cellist Pieter Wispelwey for Trio concerts throughout Europe and she will continue her all-Bach recitals with Ottavio Dantone.
Viktoria Mullova’s extensive discography for Philips Classics has attracted many prestigious awards, including her debut release of the Tchaikovsky and Jean Sibelius violin concertos which was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque. She formed the Mullova Chamber Ensemble in the mid-1990's. 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 J.S. 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 Johannes Brahms violin concerto. Her recording of the J. Brahms B major Trio (No. 1) and L.v. Beethoven's Archduke Trio with Andre Previn and Heinrich Schiff was released in 1995, receiving a further Diapason d'Or. In 2005 she joined the Onyx Classics label to present a series of new recordings. Her debut disc, Antonio Vivaldi Concertos with Il Giardino Armonico and directed by Giovanni Antonini, won the Diapason D’Or of the Year award for 2005. Other discs have included the Schubert Octet with the Mullova Ensemble, "Recital" with Katia Labèque, and J.S. Bach Sonatas with Ottavio Dantone. She has just completed her most important recording project of her life: all of J S Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin (BWV 1001-1006) was released in 2009.
Viktoria Mullova plays on the Jules Falk Stradivarius from 1723 and an violin made in 1750 by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini. Her bows include a Baroque style bow by a modern maker, a Dodd and a Voirin. She currently lives in Holland Park, London, England with her husband, cellist Matthew Barley and three children: Misha, from her relationship with Claudio Abbado, Katia, from her relationship with Alan Brind, and Nadia, from her marriage with Barley.