Blonde ambition of violinist who turned down `Baywatch'

Linda Lampenius bears an uncanny resemblance to the "Baywatch babe", Pamela Anderson, and has even been offered a part in the American television show. But she has turned down screen glory, insisting her talents lie in a more serious direction.

The 27-year-old Finn is a virtuoso violinist who has capitalised on her ample talents to further her musical ambitions.

Until recently she was known only as the leader of the Sibelius Academy Orchestra in Helsinki, but Ms Lampenius - who will take the stage name Linda Brava, when her first album, Violator, is released in Britain this summer - is the latest in a string of classically trained musicians who have marketed themselves as much on their sex appeal as their talent.

Vanessa-Mae, the Singapore-born violinist, was filmed wading through the sea in a clinging transparent dress and the German musician Anne-Sophie Mutter is often photographed in revealing outfits.

However, for all Ms Lampenius's charms, some are less than impressed. Adrian Jack, a critic who writes for The Independent, last night dismissed the trend for dressing-down as a cynical marketing scam.

"I have not heard of her [Ms Lampenius] but it sounds to me like a repulsive marketing thing," he said. "I am very sceptical about using this method to sell yourself. As far as I am concerned Vanessa-Mae is of modest talent and it is just pure sensationalism. Anne-Sophie is talented but then she does not go to quite the same lengths as Vanessa-Mae.

"I just don't believe it is encouraging a real interest in classical music at all, people will just go to the concerts to stare."

But Ms Lampenius, who has had rave reviews in Scandinavia for her up- tempo version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue, has clearly seduced other critics.

"Linda can do things with a fiddle that will bring tears to your eyes. She performs her classical repertoire in spray-on latex bodysuits, swaying her hips gently with a hint of a smile playing around her full lips," gushed one smitten journalist last week.

She was virtually unknown until last autumn when, in a televised performance with the Finnish National Opera Orchestra, the programme's director refused to move his camera away from her, and the nation was gripped.

Reiha Kokkola, a spokesman for her record company said: "Linda is technically very gifted. She is master of the classical violin and no matter how big a star she becomes, she will remain a serious musician."

Still, if it doesn't work out, Ms Lampenius has a range of ambitions outside music. "I am still finding time for my other interests such as boxing, motor-racing, acting and getting involved in local politics," she said.

Kate Watson-Smyth

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'