Mullova has become highly regarded for her performances and recordings of a number of great violin concertos, compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, and her innovative interpretations of popular and jazz compositions by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, The Beatles, and others.
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. They left the Stradivarius owned by the Soviet Union on the hotel bed, jumped into a taxi, and drove several hundred kilometers to the Swedish border. In Sweden, they applied for political asylum. At that time, the Swedish police treated young, on-the-run musicians just like any other political defector and suggested they stay in a hotel over the weekend until the American embassy opened. So for two days they sat under false names in a hotel room, not even daring to go down to the reception desk, wisely, as it turned out, because their photographs were on the front page of every newspaper. Two days later they were already walking around Washington D.C. with American visas in their pockets. Mullova lives currently in Holland Park, London, England.
Mullova has made many recordings including her debut release of the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Jean Sibelius violin concertos which was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque.
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 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 Philharmonia Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed as soloist and director with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Mullova plays on the "Jules Falk" Stradivarius (1723) and a 1750 Guadagnini. Her bows include a Baroque style bow by a modern maker, a Dodd and a Voirin.
Viktoria Mullova Discography
- 42 Instruments & Performance
- 1 Writing & Arrangement
- 1 Conducting & Leading
- 3 Production
- 1 Acting, Literary & Spoken