Victoria Bachke

Victoria Bachke (1899-1963) was born in Russia into the de Rostin family. Her father, of French descent, was a senior engineer with the Russian state railways. Victoria and her eight siblings grew up in affluent surroundings where culture, diligence and discipline were important in their day-to-day life.
In 1914 Victoria and her 11 years older sister Valentine travelled to Europe. Valentine was a singer performing in concerts in many countries. Her little sister Victoria would often accompany her, and in 1917 they came to Trondheim. Here Valentine married the musician and conductor Morten Svendsen. Victoria also settled in Trondheim, and in 1920 she married Christian Anker Bachke, a businessman and cultural personality who owned the country estate Ringve, where Peter Wessel Tordenskiold [a famous naval hero] had grown up more than 200 years earlier.
Victoria soon became involved in the town's cultural life, and was a talented performer in music, singing and drama. She thrived uncommonly well in the spotlight. As time passed Ringve came to be the focus of her energies. In 1943 Ringve was willed to the foundation Ringve Museum, and the statutes stated that two museums were to be established: One in memory of Tordenskiold, and one a music history museum.
Victoria Bachke's efforts to acquire the unique music history collections are legendary. Not a person with inhibitions, this has resulted in a plethora of treasures from Norway and abroad now housed at Ringve. The Tordenskiold museum opened in 1950, Ringve Museum in 1952. In later years the latter has developed into one of the most popular attractions in Trondheim.
Today, Ringve Museum is Norway's national museum for music and music instruments. Tordenskiold's memorial is maintained in a separate exhibition in the Manor building. Victoria Bache's urn stands in a bricked niche at Ringve.
Recommended reading: Jan Voigt: Fru Victoria til Ringve [Lady Victoria of Ringve]. Cappelen, 1984.

Author: Einar Rædergård