By Nia Kajastie | Photos: Unlimited Management
In the 1990s Linda Lampenius became known as a striking Pamela Anderson doppelganger with some serious talent when it came to playing the violin. She was internationally famous with a definitive sex symbol status. But this media image might have missed the point, as Lampenius, more than anything else, is and always has been an exceptionally gifted musician. And that is not all that she is. Today, Linda Lampenius-Cullberg is a loving wife, proud mother and successful recording artist. So naturally Scan Magazine jumped at the chance to ask Lampenius about her career highlights.
Linda Lampenius was born in Helsinki, Finland, to Swedish-speaking parents who both worked in music and the arts. Growing up, she was surrounded by musical influences and even featured in the media as somewhat of a child prodigy. She started her career at the tender age of eight, when she went on tour with the Helsinki Junior Strings in Northern America.
“It was challenging, but at the same time quite amazing to be able to play with other musicians who were considerably older than me. All my trips around the world with the Junior Strings strongly influenced my development as a musician as well as a human being,” says Lampenius. “On top of the musical experiences, I got to know a lot of different cultures and people.” At the beginning of her career, Lampenius studied at the Sibelius Academy, a university level music school in Finland, and played in a chamber music ensemble called Ofelia quartet for a few years. Her years playing the first violin in the Finnish National Opera Orchestra are also very close to her heart, as she was always playing out of a true love and respect for the music.
With the start of her solo career, her image became sexier and a lot more marketable abroad, with a new stage name, Linda Brava, to top it off. It gave her the chance to do some modelling (for Björn Borg) as well as acting (most famously a guest appearance on Baywatch) and a celebrity cover for Playboy. But behind this sexy image, there was still the classically trained violinist and the undeniably amazing artist, who also caught the attention of Lord Lloyd Webber. He gave Lampenius a solo part in his symphony, the Metal Philharmonic, at the Sydmonton Festival in 1997.
Yummy career mummy
Lampenius is able to list a lot of different highlights from her diverse musical and entertainment career, and most recently she acted as a judge and mentor on the Finnish version of X-Factor. “The programme was much more demanding than any of us (judges) would have thought. We were working on it for eight months, and I lived completely in the ‘X-Factor world’, thinking night and day about the song choices, the well-being and styling of my protégées,” says Lampenius. “I would love to do it again, but preferably in Sweden, if the programme could be made here as well. It was very hard to be away from my daughter Olivia so much.”
Lampenius currently lives in Stockholm with her husband Martin Cullberg and their daughter Olivia, and her family is also the biggest ‘highlight’ in her life. “My daughter and my husband are my everything at the moment. It has also been vital for me to find the right place to start my family. A few years ago, I did not know in which country I would end up living in the future, but now I have settled in Sweden,” she says.
So what does the future hold for Linda Lampenius-Cullberg? The answer is, of course, music. “I am currently recording my upcoming Christmas record. It is a lovely project, where I play with a string trio, harp and choir – a simply heavenly combination,” Lampenius explains. “And in January I will be touring in Scandinavia as the soloist for a Viennese orchestra.”
For further information, visit: www.lindalampenius.com