LINDA LAMPENIUS aka LINDA BRAVA
Linda Lampenius, also known as Linda Brava, made her stage debut at the tender age of three. By eight she had become an accomplished violinist and thus began a life of touring that has taken her all over the world, as a soloist, chamber musician and concert master.
Linda studied at the world-renowned Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki.
She has released four solo albums, of which one world wide, with EMI and made numerous television appearances in Europe, the USA and Asia.
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber invited Linda to perform as the soloist in ”Metal Philharmonic” in England, which gained her huge exposure across Europe.
Linda appeared on Playboy’s ”Sex & Music” issue and guest starred on Baywatch.
Linda’s been one of the judges on X Factor in Finland.
She’s been a member of the city council in Helsinki.
Linda competed in ”Dancing with the Stars” in Sweden.
Recently Linda launched her own sofa called ”Nordic Symphony” and multi vitamin products called ”Day” and ”Night”.
Linda’s last tour was the Christmas tour ”Änglaljus”, Nov-Dec 2017.
Linda has brought her beautiful sound, virtuosity, expansive interpretation and creative repertoire choices to diverse global audiences. She is accoladed for ”singing” on her beautiful Gagliano 1781 violin.
Linda Lampenius (known outside Scandinavia as Linda Brava) is from a Swedish-speaking Finnish family in which music formed a vital part of life. Her father, Börje Lampenius, was a former theatre director, actor, singer, and also a composer of musicals and operettas. Her mother, Ulla Eklund, is a former actress and singer. Each worked primarily at the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki, also on TV and in films.
At age three, Linda began performing in public with her parents, as a singer. Later, she played the violin accompanied by her father at the piano while her mother sang.
In 1978, Vasabladet reported on Linda as a child violinist to remember, following after her impressive first solo concert appearance.
In more recent years, Linda has concertized widely outside Finland as well as within, and has lived in Los Angeles, London and Stockholm where she has lived since 2002 and where she met her husband, Martin Cullberg, a Swedish lawyer in private criminal law practice.
In her very early years, in a musical kindergarten, Linda played several instruments, but at age 5 under the guidance of Géza Szilvay, the developer of the Colourstrings Method, began focusing on the violin exclusively. Soon thereafter, at age eight, she began her concert career with the Helsinki Strings. Named one of the best youth orchestras in the world, Max Rostal and Yehudi Menuhin both served as patrons of the Helsinki Strings.
Through her childhood, Linda toured with the Helsinki Strings throughout the world, giving concerts in England, USA, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and other foreign countries. As a child prodigy, she also appeared numerous times on Finnish TV as part of the artistic-educational TV series Minifiddlers in Musicland on YLE.
When Linda was eight years old, she was awarded a scholarship, as the youngest winner ever in Finnish history, by the well-known The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland for being such a promising young violinist.
Three years later she performed as a soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Finland.
Soon after she became Concertmaster of the Helsinki Strings.
EDUCATION AND ORCHESTRAL WORK
From 1985 through 1997, Linda studied at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, first at the Junior Sibelius Academy, then at the university level Department of Soloists where she was admitted as one of the first students to be so honored based solely on her audition performances. Linda studied the violin, music theory and history, pedagogy, the piano and opera singing, and had her own violin students as well. She also played in chamber ensembles, and her Ofelia Quartet was chosen by the famous Amadeus Quartet to perform at the final concert of the Academy’s master class.
While a student, Linda acquired substantial orchestral experience. From 1990 through 1997, she served as Concertmistress in Kapubändi, the Orchestra of the Conducting Class, taught by professors Jorma Panula and Eri Klas. She also served as Concertmistress of the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra on various occasions, and for three years, before embarking on her own professional solo career, she played in the Finnish National Opera Orchestra.
Supplementing her Sibelius Academy studies, Linda studied with professors Mauricio Fuks in the USA and has attended several master classes in Finland, France and Israel, including Shlomo Mintz’s Keshet Eilon Violin Programme and Shmuel Ashkenasi’s masterclasses at the Sibelius Academy.
Linda has won several SCHOLARSHIPS (as a violinist/musician). Here are a few:
1978 Svenska Kulturfonden
1984 Botby Svenska Skolförening
1985 Svenska Kulturfonden
1993 Pro Musica
Linda has attended several MASTER COURSES. Here are a few:
1992 Helsinki/Finland, Violin Professor Shmuel Ashkenasi (USA)
1992 Helsinki/Finland, Amadeus Quartet (England)
1993 Keshet Eilon/Israel
1995 Keshet Eilon/Israel
Linda has performed all around Europe, Asia and the USA. She has collaborated and given recitals with Finnish, Swedish and English pianists, including John Lenehan, Linn Hendry, Timo Koskinen, Folke Gräsbeck, Risto Lauriala, Arto Satukangas and Laura Mikkola. She has performed as a soloist with several Finnish and Swedish orchestras, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the La Scala Opera Orchestra, the RTÈ National Symphony Orchestra, Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra and toured as a soloist with Paul Potts accompanied by a Prague based Symphony Orchestra, formed by musicians from two of the biggest orchestras in Prague, including the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Linda’s classical album ”Linda Brava” (EMI Classics) was released world wide in 1999. She toured in Asia and Europe promoting the album.
At the time Linda was the most selling Finnish classical artist in the world.
Linda’s concert with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales was televised on BBC.
In 2003 Linda went on her first major concert tour in Sweden. The outcome was very successful as critics raved her talent.
Linda has since participated in various concert tours and given concerts in most concerthalls and stadiums around Sweden, performing with artists like violinist Kalle Moraeus, pianist Robert Wells, pianist Carina E. Nilsson, pianist Love Derwinger, soprano Sofia Källgren, soprano Hannah Holgersson, harpist Monica Ramos, pop singer Molly Sandén, pop singer Sanna Nielsen, pop singer Sonja Aldén, singer and actress Pernilla Wahlgren, baryton Fredrik Lycke and baryton Fredrik Benedict Nybladh.
In 2007 Linda played as a special guest soloist in Anúna’s ”Celtic Origins” project, which included the multi award winning PBS music special aired on more than 200 TV channels across the USA, a two-month concert tour in USA and CD/DVD releases. The ”Celtic Origins” album was North America’s Bestselling World Music CD for five consecutive weeks, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and the best selling CD in all categories at Borders for the entire month of August 2007.
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber handpicked Linda to play the lead in ”Metal Philharmonic”. Linda performed the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman symphony together with an orchestra, a choir, a band and a group of dancers at the 23rd Sydmonton Festival. The collaboration between Linda and Lloyd Webber meant a significant media exposure for her especially in Europe, including the cover story of The Sunday Times’ Culture supplement. Thereafter, Linda also became known as the Bach Babe in tabloids in the UK, and The Sun ran a front page article on her, rating her above Vanessa-Mae with headline ”Vanessa Mae, Linda does”.
Linda performs at corporate events on a regular basis, performing classical music, pop music, rock music and folk music. Every performance is custom made. She performs with singers, pianists, harpists, chamber groups, orchestras, pop bands and rock bands.
Linda has performed for head of states and royals, including former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari, Furst Rainier and Prince Albert of Monaco and the Royal Family of Sweden on numerous occasions. In 1999 Linda performed at Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden’s birthday concert, which was broadcasted on Swedish national public TV.
Linda has performed for various European and American politicians, including the United States Secretary of Defense William Perry, and for some of the Nobel Prize laureates on the Arctic Circle.
In 1997 Linda performed at the opening of the ”Classic Makers” exhibition at the Finnish Embassy in Washington.
Linda has performed in numerous TV shows and concerts all around the world, for example the Italian RAI Uno’s show ”Torna a Surriento”, huge TV-shows in South Korea, Taiwan, Spain and England and the American PBS Special ,”Celtic Origins”.
Linda often performs at charity events, in order to help contribute funds for different charities. She has played at the 150th Anniversary Gala Concert of the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Sweden, Project Playground’s galas in Stockholm, Göteborg and Örnsköldsvik, ”Humorgalan” on TV4, Lastenklinikoiden kummit’s TV galas ”Joulun Tähti” and ”Joulu Mielelle” and on behalf of Unicef during the White Turf celebrations in St. Moritz in Switzerland.
Linda has head lined a variety show called ”Fantastix” in a theatre in Stockholm.
Some of Linda’s special appearances include performances for the KFOR troops in Kosovo, the Rhapsody in Rock show at the Royal Albert Hall in London and at the Cannes Film Festival.
Over the years Linda has performed at various sports events. She has played at ice hockey, soccer and basketball games in Finland and Sweden, twice at the ATP Champions event at the Royal Albert Hall in London (televised by the BBC and Eurosport) and at Formula 1 events in Monaco and Monza. In the Ericsson Globe, Linda has been the opening act at different televised sports events, including K-1 galas and the 2008 GE Gala in Stockholm. In Moscow Linda’s played for Ferrari and Maserati. Linda plays on “Tre Kronor – Slå Oss Om Ni Kan”, the official song for the Swedish National Ice Hockey Team at Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships in Prague in 2004.
Linda came into the public spotlight as a child prodigy on the violin, performing on Finnish TV numerous times in the 1970s and 1980s and being featured in Finnish newspapers, in addition to concert tours all around Europe, USA, Canada and Japan. Since the mid-1990s she has been one of the most famous celebrities in Finland.
Since 1997, Linda has been featured in numerous TV programmes all around the world. Channel 4’s documentary about her has been aired all around Europe and Japan, while the documentary by CBS’ Inside Edition was broadcast in the USA. Linda has also starred in a music special by Rai Uno, the biggest TV channel in Italy, and the concert was broadcasted in 160 countries worldwide, while her solo orchestral appearance with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales was televised in Great Britain. In 2007, Linda appeared as a violin soloist in Anúna’s Celtic Origins music special on PBS, which aired the show on over 200 TV channels across the USA.
Linda has been featured on several American TV-channels:
ABC, BBC, CNBC, E! TV, CNN, Fox News Channel, WCBS-TV, KTTV-TV, KTLA-TV and PBS.
She’s been a guest on following American TV-programmes:
E! Entertainment, BBC Breakfast, The O’Reilly Factor, Good Day LA, KABC Morning News, KTTV News, E! News Daily and Great Stuff.
Linda has been featured in cover stories of The Sunday Times, Classic FM Magazine, Playboy, LA Daily News and many others. American Elle and Details announced Linda as the ”Best Newcomer” in 1998, and she has since been featured in numerous other fashion, lifestyle and entertainment magazines, including Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, GQ, Hello!, Maxim and Vogue.
The Times has stated her to be ”the gifted Finnish classical violinist”, who is ”brilliant” and ”acclaimed by critics”, while The Sunday Times stated ”she plays like Nigel Kennedy”. Linda has also been called ”a striking Finnish blonde with impeccable musical credentials” by the Los Angeles Daily News and ”Finnish Phenom” by the New York Post. Additionally, she has been called a ”virtuoso violinist” by The Guardian and The Independent. Billed as the ”Bach Babe” in tabloids in the UK, Linda has been featured in the front page article of The Sun, while she has also been featured in such British publications as Classic FM, the Daily Mail, the Evening Standard, Q, The Daily Telegraph and The European.
Linda has competed on ”Let’s Dance” (the Swedish version of ”Dancing with the Stars”) and she’s been one of the judges on X Factor Finland.
LINDA LAMPENIUS (1997)
Linda’s pop album Linda Lampenius, which peaked at number 8 on the Finnish Top Album Chart, was released in 1997. Although the album was released only in Finland, Linda’s single ”Violator”/”Toccata and Fugue” got huge international attention.
Daily Mirror wrote ”Pammi lookalike’s great on her Bach” and Daily Record wrote ”Just when interest in violin music was toning down along comes Linda Lampenius – the fiddling Finn has taken a major bow – she is already a sensation with her version of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue”. The Sunday Times reported how ”Linda has enjoyed huge success in Scandinavia with an up-tempo version of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue”. Linda has performed music from the album at Sporting Club in Monaco, televised performances at the Royal Albert Hall and the Playboy Mansion and three pieces were featured on Baywatch.
LINDA BRAVA (1999)
Linda started recording her first classical album with John Lenehan at Abbey Road Studios in London 1998 and the Linda Brava album was released worldwide in 1999, including Edvard Grieg’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor as well as lyrical violin miniatures by Edward Elgar, Gabriel Fauré, Jean Sibelius, Johann Sebastian Bach-Charles Gounod, Jules Massenet, Niccolò Paganini and Fritz Kreisler. The album peaked at number 14 on the UK Classical Chart and Linda became the biggest selling Finnish classical artist in the world at the time.
Gramophone described the album as ”a delightful recital – played with such warmth, and an eloquent simplicity of line, that the ear is instantly beguiled – a welcome collection”. Classic FM Magazine dedicated its cover story for ”Linda Brava Lampenius, Finland’s violin sensation”, and wrote that she plays ”with a pleasant, honeyed tone – making the most of her golden-voiced 1781 Galliano violin – and an unaffected grace that will surely win her many friends”.
Composer and critic Paul Turok of Turok’s Choice thought ”the high point of her fine recital disc with pianist John Lenehan is a strong reading of Grieg’s Sonata” while the Evening Standard wrote ”her best playing comes in the three short pieces by her countryman Sibelius: the skittish Rondino extracts her quickest fingerwork, the Humoresque Op.87 No.1 wins her most tortured expression and the Romance Op.78 No.2 sings under her confident touch”. Classic FM UK played music from the album on a daily basis for several weeks, and it was also noted positively by BBC Radio 3 and ABC Classic FM Australia.
Linda promoted the album in various newspapers, magazines and TV and radio shows all around Europe and the Far East, being featured on the back of a red double-decker bus driving on Oxford Street in London. Linda’s music video ”Ave Maria” was featured on Classic FM TV, and on the first edition of Classic FM 2003 DVD. Linda’s music video can be seen on C Music TV, which included the video in its August Highlights 2010.
NORDIC LIGHT (2005)
Linda’s third album Nordic Light was released in the Nordic countries in 2005 and re-released in Sweden in 2008, peaking at number 12 on the Swedish Top Album Chart.
Linda promoted the album in Sweden and it got great reviews.
The album is a collection of folk melodies from Finland and Sweden, including a medley from the musical Kristina från Duvemåla by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA.
On the critically acclaimed album, Linda is accompanied by members of Benny Anderssons Orkester while Anders Ekborg sings on two tracks.
Linda’s latest album Angels is a collection of Christmas carols from Finland, Sweden, Germany, France, England and the United States, arranged for solo violin, string quartet, harp, and female choir, in addition to guest artists such as guitarist Ulf Wakenius, trombonist Nils Landgren, violinist Kalle Moraeus, baryton Fredrik Lycke and soprano Sofia Källgren.
The album peaked at number 3 on the Swedish Classical Album Chart, and includes classics like ”Angels We Have Heard on High”, ”Away in a Manger”, ”Ding Dong Merrily on High”, ”O Holy Night”, ”Panis Angelicus”, and ”Silent Night”. Angels is the first album released by Linda’s own record label Linda Lampenius Productions. It is Linda’s first Christmas release.
The album was produced by Lars Nilsson, who also recorded Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Daniel’s wedding album. The arrangers include Swedish composers Paula af Malmborg, Olov Helge, and Dan Evmark as well as a Norwegian composer Tormod Tvete Vik. The featured string quartet is Hvila from the Gothenburg Symphony, and the female choir is Leif Strands Damkör from Gothenburg as well. French harpist Delphine Constantin plays on the album.
Released in Finland and Sweden, Angels has got warm reviews in various publications. Göteborgs-Posten wrote that Linda is ”a good soloist”, who ”approaches her music with devotion”, and the critic was especially ”fascinated by the strong, melancholic Finnish Christmas song ‘Sylvian joululaulu’ (‘Sylvia’s Christmas Song’)”.
Hallands Nyheter positively declared that ”musically, the outcome sounds more like a concert recording”, and Västerbottens-Kuriren described the album as ”beautiful, caressing and enjoyable, soothing and pleasant”, while Hufvudstadsbladet stated that Linda is ”a divinely gifted violinist” and ”the performances are high-class”.
Furthermore, Rondo-Classica, the biggest classical music magazine in the Nordic countries, thought the album is Linda’s ”best release so far – She plays convincingly. The tone of her Gagliano violin has become more beautiful, and her pretty straightforward phrasing is completed well by the clang of the harp and the angelic voices of the female choir”.
Linda appeared in a Finnish film classic, ”Akseli ja Elina”, in 1970. Her mother played the lead and Linda was her daughter-in-arms. Through her childhood, Linda had small roles among others in productions of the Swedish Theatre, touring in Sweden and Norway with the theatre company.
Since the 1990s, Linda has appeared in Finnish and Swedish TV series, including ”Kadonnut näky”, ”Uuno Turhapuro” and ”Cleo”. Linda has also starred in Finnish comedy TV series Kultajukka & kumppanit on YLE. Among the characters she did, she parodied her own public image in Finland, the ”Media Linda”.
Linda’s also hosted a game show, ”Speden Spelit” on Finnish TV.
While living in Los Angeles, Linda was offered roles in Fame LA and Baywatch, and she was asked to star in a television talk show as the musical guest host. Linda refused to sign any long-term contracts, but agreed to appear in one episode of Fame LA as a guest star, playing Ilsa Lundqvist, a Swedish violinist, who ends up playing the violin at a Christmas party at an art school, where one of the students fall in love with her. After months of persuading by Douglas Schwartz, Linda agreed to appear in one episode, ”Waterdance”, of Baywatch, in which she portrayed Ariana, a European violinist in trouble. Both of the shows featured music from Linda’s pop album, including ”Violator” and ”Aquamarine”.
Linda attended a modelling school and came 2nd in a major modelling competition in Finland in 1988, appearing in a few fashion shows and a televised coffee commercial. She was also asked to participate in Miss Finland beauty pageants several times, but refused, because she wanted to concentrate on her playing.
Linda was the official model and spokesperson for Björn Borg underwear and swim suits 1997-1999 in Finland, Sweden and England. Especially the Björn Borg fashion shows, some of which were televised, became popular, and Linda got international media attention as she was playing the violin while modelling swimsuits on the catwalks.
Linda’s televised performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London in the middle of the first ATP Masters tournament between Björn Borg and John McEnroy made headlines, and she was prominently featured in the papers the following days.
The Swiss Watch manufacturer Maurice Lacroix engaged Linda to promote their Calypso range of watches in England in 2000. In addition to editorial shoots and posters, Linda played at various Maurice Lacroix events.
Over the years, Linda has modelled for many magazines, including Elle, Café, Esquire, GQ, Hello!, Maxim and Playboy.
Linda represented Svenska Folkpartiet and got elected to the Helsinki City Council for a four-year term in 1996, as well as a board member of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1997, Linda was titled Finland’s Tourist Envoy in Sweden as she had increased Swedes’ interest in Finland.
Linda had her own brand of alcoholic cider ”Linda Cider” in Finland between 1997 and 2000, selling over 12 million bottles in two years. To support the cider sales, Linda launched a calendar.
Linda designed a sofa, ”Nordic Symphony”, and launched it 2016.
Linda’s multi vitamin products ”Day” and ”Night” were launched October 2017.
Linda’s autobiography ”Linda” was published by WSOY in Finland in 2003.
Right now Linda is working on her second book for Forum/Bonnierförlagen.
Linda got her rally licence in 1996, and has competed twice as a rally co-driver in Finland. She has worked as a commentator on Nordic TV channels during ice hockey tournaments and Formula 1 races in Europe.
Right now Linda’s main hobby is shooting, IPSC. She is a member of Stockholm LVF.